THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo
While his attorney said it was hard to make sense of why Darnell Gibson shot two people he considered friends, a Lucas County judge said that fact made Gibson “more dangerous than most.”
Judge Myron Duhart, of Lucas County Common Pleas Court, sentenced Gibson on Monday to 17 years in prison for the Oct. 26, 2012, shooting of Charles Marshall and Joe Sandifer in the 400 block of Parker Street.
Gibson, 42, of 1015 Delence St., who also uses the name Marco Prada, entered an Alford plea June 9 to two counts of felonious assault and a firearms specification. He apologized to his victims before the sentence was imposed saying, “I honestly didn’t do it intentionally. I had no intention to hurt anybody.”
In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit to committing a crime, but acknowledges evidence is sufficient for a conviction that could result in a more severe sentence. The court treats it as a guilty plea.
Defense attorney Pete Rost said drug or alcohol use may have fueled what happened.
“It doesn’t appear to be a robbery. It doesn’t appear to have any sense to it whatsoever,” he said. “I think Darnell has taken responsibility for his actions as best he can in light of what he can recall of that particular evening.”
Both of the victims addressed the court. Mr. Sandifer, who was in a wheelchair, said his body was broken. He can no longer do the things he once enjoyed, he said, and he lives in constant pain.
“I begged him not to shoot me over and over, and now I beg the court to have no mercy for him as he did for me,” Mr. Sandifer said.
Judge Duhart cited Gibson’s record of violent criminal activity and the severity of his victims’ injuries in giving him maximum sentences on both charges.
“By all accounts, you essentially shot an individual who has let you in their home, who has fed you, who has acted as a companion to you,” the judge said. “And I find that to be worse. There’s nothing outwardly that would justify why you would do something like that, causing both of them to be within inches of their life.”
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.