Sunday, 26 May 2024

Kidnapping, carjacking, robbery earns man 30-year prison term



LAKE COUNTY – A man found guilty of robbing an area casino, carjacking and kidnapping as well as using a firearm was sentenced Monday to three decades prison.

Judge Richard Freeborn sentenced John Alan Gillies, 44, of Cloverdale to a state prison term of 30 years to life for kidnapping during the course of a carjacking, second-degree robbery and two allegations involving personal use of a firearm, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff.

Gillies will have to serve a period of 26 years and six months in prison before becoming eligible for parole, Hinchcliff said.

On May 15 Gillies was convicted by a jury at trial of the Nov. 6, 2006 kidnapping and carjacking of a Clearlake Oaks man at gunpoint, and of the subsequent robbery of the Twin Pine Casino in Middletown of $23,500, Hinchcliff reported.

The kidnapping and carjacking of the victim occurred while the victim was washing his truck at the Middletown car wash. Hinchcliff said Gillies forced the victim out of the truck on Dry Creek Cutoff, then drove the stolen truck to Twin Pine Casino where he entered wearing a mask and used a gun to rob the casino cash cage. Gillies pointed the gun at several employees inside the casino before fleeing with the money.

He was apprehended and prosecuted after a lengthy investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the California Bureau of Gambling Control, as Lake County News has reported.

At the sentencing hearing on Monday, Judge Freeborn also denied Gillies’ motion for a new trial and his motion to continue the sentencing proceeding, according to Hinchcliff.

Hinchcliff said the court heard the testimony of Jose Simon III, speaking on behalf of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians, the owners of the Twin Pine Casino and the victims of the robbery.

Simon requested that the court impose the maximum possible punishment in this case. He related to the court the devastating emotional impact these crimes had on the casino employees, and informed the court of the ongoing financial losses incurred by the Middletown Rancheria as a result of Gillies’ criminal conduct.

After the sentence was pronounced, Judge Freeborn remanded Gillies into the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Hinchcliff said.

Lake County Deputy District Attorney John J. Langan prosecuted this case on behalf of the People of the State of California. The defendant was represented by Mr. Thomas Quinn.


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