Author Topic: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter  (Read 3074 times)

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Offline kevinhillman

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Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« on: March 13, 2012, 12:49:40 AM »

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PRESS RELEASE
3/12/12
Ashley Gilbert Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

Kevin Hillman, Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney announces that Ashley Gilbert, who was originally charged with murder in the second degree, entered a plea to voluntary manslaughter today pursuant to a plea agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office before Judge Tracy Storie. In exchange for her plea of guilty, the Prosecuting Attorney filed the reduced charge of Voluntary Manslaughter and agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than twelve years.  This case was refiled in 2011 after it was originally dismissed just prior to trial in 2010. 

“I am pleased that we were able to bring this difficult case to a close with a conviction.  There were some significant legal issues with this case.  In the original case, much of the defendant’s confession was suppressed due to some problems with the recording of it.  I anticipated that this evidence would have been suppressed again.  In addition, a plea deal was made prior to my handling of this case with a co-defendant for his testimony.  That co-defendant turned out to be worthless to this case as I believed him to be unreliable.  Taking these factors into consideration, and after consulting with the family of the victim and my team of prosecutors, we believed we should make the plea agreement we made in this case.  I am happy that we were able to make those responsible for the death of Mr. Blankenship answer for their actions,” said Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman.

“I want to thank SGT Dottie Taylor and CPL Scott Mertens of the Division of Drug and Crime Control of the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their hard work in investigating this case.  I also want to thank the Dixon Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance with the investigation of this case.  I also wish to thank Ted Bruce of the Attorney General’s Office for his assistance and my entire staff for their hard work in this case.  Finally I want to thank the family of Mr. Blankenship who cooperated with us through this entire process,” said Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman. “It takes the hard work of all of these law enforcement officials to bring a tough case like this to a close and I appreciate their teamwork and dedication.”

The Board of Probation and Parole will now conduct a Sentencing Assessment Report and Ms. Gilbert will be sentenced at a later date by Judge Storie.  She faces up to fifteen years in prison as a result of her guilty plea to a class B felony.

Please direct all questions to Kevin Hillman, Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney.
 
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Offline 2CardJohnE

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012, 12:53:48 AM »
Maynards post says you "recommended no more then  12 years"
 
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. -- A woman from Dixon pleaded guilty on Monday for beating and stomping a man to death in May 2009. Ashley Gilbert faces a prison sentence of up to 15 years after accepting a plea agreement with Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman, who agreed to recommend to the judge a prison sentence of no more than 12 years.
Gilbert and Robert Fortner killed David Blankenship,
John Wayne said it best, "I may not have voted for him, but he is MY President

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 12:58:19 AM »
Yes, that is correct, I agreed to recommend a sentence of 12 years to induce her to plead guilty.  The judge does not have to follow my plea recommendation.  This was done in consultation with the AGs office, the family of the victim, and my other prosecutors.
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Offline Gene Newkirk

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 02:43:23 AM »
Great team work!!!!!! :th_gen129:

Offline missouriguy

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 02:56:33 AM »
Leaves a dirty taste in MY mouth. 12 years for killing someone. I guess Id have to know the entire story.
Live your life and I`ll live mine

Offline firegirl204

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 11:59:32 AM »
Great Job to all involved!!!  No offense to anyone but kinda hope that Judge Storie doesn't go with Kevin's recommendation and gives her the full amount considering her past while being locked up in the jail. 

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 12:54:01 PM »
What left a bad taste in my mouth was when Gilbert was let free and had no punishment in 2010.  That was why I refiled the case to see if we could make her answer somehow for what she did.  Remember, major portions of her confession were suppressed by the judge in the first case and I think it would have happened again.  Her codefendant only got 8 years (prior to my taking office) and he was supposed to be the State's star witness and he was completely unreliable.  We did this agreement after consulting with the family.  I wanted to make sure that she at least got punished for this crime in some way and this was the best way to guarantee it.  A trial with the issues in this case would have been a 50/50 proposition at best. Not a perfect result but probably the best we could do with what we had.
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Offline DUANE4043

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 01:18:17 PM »
Mr. Hillman,
Great job! You took a mess and made it right.  :woohoo:

Offline firegirl204

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 02:40:37 PM »
Completely agree with Duane....I am just glad that you decided to refile the charges.  It was definately not right for her to be let go without any kind of punishment.  I am just thankful that we have a prosecutor in office that cares about the people and is willing to file charges.

Offline Eden

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 03:05:38 PM »
I have questions.
1. Will time served be counted towards the 12 or 15 years?
2. Don't first times only serve a portion of their sentence?
3. Will she get additional time (thinking 7 years or full sentence) for her attempted escape?
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned"

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 03:13:49 PM »
Yes, anytime she has served on the current charge will count by operation of law.  Anyone, including repeat offenders, are eligible for parole at some point in their sentence.  It is a complex formula and up to the parole board and neither I or the judge have any control over it.  I dismissed the escape charge as part of this agreement and it was only a class d felony with a maximum of 4 years.  Even if convicted of that, the time likely would have been served concurrent anyways.
 
Again, I realize this is a not a perfect sentence, but it was not a perfect case.
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Offline Eden

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Re: Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 03:22:19 PM »
Thanks for the answers. Just glad you refiled the charges!
"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned"