Grant gets life in prison for Crispers shooting

BRADENTON - Former Crispers restaurant employee Stephen Grant pleaded no contest to attempted murder with a firearm and armed robbery Monday and was sentenced to two concurrent life prison sentences.

Grant's early morning attack on Crispers manager Alyssa Whitson eight months ago has left Whitson wheelchair-bound with paralysis on her right side, Bradenton Police Department lead investigator Jim Curulla testified before Circuit Judge Gilbert Smith.

Wearing a blue jail uniform, Grant, 60, closed his eyes for periods of time as his sentence was read.

He didn't look to the back of the courtroom where his elderly parents sat huddled close to each other, visibly shaken.

Grant's public defender, Franklin Roberts, appeared upset at the sentence and offered no comment as he left the courtroom, as did Grant's parents.

Roberts had pleaded with Judge Smith to sentence Grant to 25 years in prison, stating that Grant would be 85 when released.

Curulla was jubilant after the sentence was read.

"I'm happy he will never see the light of day," Curulla said of Grant.

The shooting happened Sept. 28 at the Crispers in the 6300 block of Cortez Road in Bradenton.

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