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Slain Man Was Moving Past His Criminal History, Sister Says

By Becky Schlikerman | January 7, 2013 11:44pm
 Robert McNear, 35, was fatally shot May 28 in Bronzeville.
Robert McNear, 35, was fatally shot May 28 in Bronzeville.
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CHICAGO — Robert McNear was a devoted father who was trying to put his life together when he was shot dead May 28 in Bronzeville, his family said.

The 35-year-old father of four was engaged to be married when he was shot in the 5000 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue, his sister Kathy Brown said.

Police said McNear’s shooting was gang-related, but his family denied gang ties despite his lengthy criminal history in Cook County.

Since his late teens, he’d been convicted several times on weapons and drug charges, court records show. His last conviction was in 2009 for possession of marijuana.

Kathy Brown said her brother had wasted years of his life drinking with his buddies. But she said McNear was had finally grown up and taken control of his life.

She said he was working as a day laborer.

“There was no hanging out, no drinking, none of that” Brown said.

Brown said her brother was a devoted father to his two teenage sons and two younger boys. He planned to marry the mother of his two youngest children, ages 4 and 7.

“It’s still very shocking to me,” Brown, 24, said. “Finally in his life he was trying to get it together and walk a straight path and somebody took his life.”