Jeshua Gilmore, the Toledo man who shot a Fulton County sheriff’s deputy last July following a brief car chase, was sentenced Thursday to nearly 27 years in prison.
Clad in jail clothes, the 18-year-old shed tears at the defendant’s table as Fulton County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Robinson read the individual sentences for each of eight charges Gilmore pleaded guilty to Nov. 6. They included: one count of attempted aggravated murder, a first degree felony; having weapons under disability, a third degree felony; failing to comply with order or signal of police officer, a third-degree felony; three counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, fourth degree felonies; one count of grand theft, a third degree felony; and one count of theft, a fifth degree felony.
Gilmore will serve a total of 26 years and 10 months consecutively, which includes three years for a gun specification in the attempted aggravated murder charge. It hasn’t been determined if or when he may be eligible for parole.
Following his release from prison, Gilmore will serve five years of community control that could involve treatment for drug abuse.
Before sentencing, Gilmore apologized to Deputy Jeremy Simon, whom he shot twice while attempting to escape authorities after the Ford Mustang he was driving stalled during the chase. Simon recovered from his wounds and resumed his duties a month after the shooting.
“I take full responsibility,” Gilmore read from a prepared statement. “I’m thankful that you are able to recover from your injuries…From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”
But Fulton County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Kennedy countered Gilmore’s apparent remorse by recalling a monitored phone conversation the defendant had with his mother after his arrest. According to Kennedy, Gilmore’s mother was conveying Deputy Simon’s condition when Gilmore said, “F—- him.”
Kennedy said Gilmore’s apologies “are empty words. He was willing to take someone’s life for no reason.”
Simon, a veteran of the sheriff’s office, also confronted Gilmore in the courtroom, saying he believes Gilmore didn’t care that night if he killed Simon or his K-9 partner. He said after being shot he was concerned for his fellow officers who pursued Gilmore.
“I knew somebody else would have to make a choice that night, either to take your life or (have theirs taken),” he said.
Simon said it’s Gilmore’s choice whether to “act like a thug.” He added, “You need to step up and take responsibility for yourself.”
He also told Gilmore, “I don’t hate you, dude. I’ve let it go.”
Responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, deputies approached Gilmore’s car about 10 p.m. on July 31 at the Country Corral at State Route 109 and County Road H. Gilmore drove off, leading deputies and Delta police on a brief chase that ended when his car began to smoke and then stalled. Gilmore fled the vehicle, firing four shots , two of which struck Simon on his left side.
Gilmore was arrested at a Toledo apartment complex Aug. 22.
His accomplice, 18-year-old Skye Thibodeaux, also fled the vehicle. She was apprehended that night, and later sentenced for obstruction of justice.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.