By: Editor-in-Chief Emily Feldmesser and Managing Editor Adelle Brodbeck
Held in the arms of his 19-year-old brother, Nicholas Eber entered the Delaware County Court House Monday morning to be sentenced for the stabbing of Anthony Peddle (‘14).
On Dec. 12, 2014 Eber was found guilty on counts of attempted murder, felonious assault and aggravated burglary for events that took place at the Chi Phi fraternity house in May. On Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 the charge of felonious assault was dropped.
Judge Everett H. Krueger sentenced Eber to six years for attempted murder, and three for aggravated burglary, both to be served concurrently. This means he will serve both sentences at once, spending a total of six years in prison. Upon release from prison, he will serve probation for five years. Eber must pay restitution to cover the remaining cost of Peddle’s medical bills.
Krueger emphasized the importance of the court’s objective enforcement of the law. He declined to consider the weight of Eber’s petition of innocence, compiled by his mother Christine.
The families and friends of both victim and defendant were present during the sentencing. Melissa Peddle, the victim’s mother, told the courtroom of her and her husband’s hardships since the stabbing last spring.
“We are both disabled veterans,” she said. “We suffer from severe depression and PTSD.”
She continued to comment on the fact that Eber’s attack on her son has, and will, continue to affect her family’s livelihood forever.
During his mother’s speech, Anthony Peddle could be seen wiping tears away from his eyes.
“Shouldn’t Mr. Eber’s sentencing be as long as Anthony’s?” Mrs. Peddle said.
Anthony Peddle told the court how his mental state has been altered by Eber’s actions. Peddle said he is unable to be alone and has trouble sleeping through the night.
“I still have a sledgehammer and screwdriver under my pillow,” he said. Before Eber addressed the judge, his attorney Joel Spitzer made his last remarks.
“For the most part he was a law-abiding citizen,” Spitzer said of his client. “If Nick wanted to ‘finish the job’ so to speak, he had the opportunity.”
In a brief statement, Eber attempted to convey his remorse. “I have been trying to live my life the way I’m supposed to,” Eber said. ”Go to school, get a job, start a family. I did everything I was supposed to do, and this still happened.”
Three members of Eber’s family spoke, including his father and younger brother. His father, Patrick Eber, said, “Nick has always been one of the most responsible people I know…I just ask for mercy.”
His brother John spoke of their relationship and how Nicholas Eber taught him to face high school bullies without using violence.
After Krueger handed down the sentence, Eber declared he would go through with the appeal process and requested an attorney.
As Eber was escorted out of the courtroom, he asked a deputy if he could say goodbye to his mother. Upon the deputy’s rejection, Mrs. Eber began to sob, and whispered to her son, “Stay strong, I love you.”
Even after the sentencing, she continued to proclaim Eber’s innocence.