A former Mount Rainier police officer who pleaded guilty to shooting and wounding a man who was trying to flee a sexual encounter at the officer’s home was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday, authorities said.
Gene Gillette, 27, had pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder, attempted fourth-degree sex offense and use of a handgun in the incident, which occurred July 2, 2011, at Gillette’s home in the 700 block of Glacier Avenue in Capitol Heights, authorities said. He was fired from the Mount Rainier police force after his conviction became official, authorities said.
According to prosecutors, Gillette lured a young man who he met at a gas station back to his home by saying he needed a male actor for a pornographic movie he was making. Once there, prosecutors said, Gillette made sexual advances on the man, who family members identified Wednesday John Hall.
Hall tried to flee in Gillette’s truck, prosecutors said, and Gillette opened fire on him. He survived the attack, but he “still lives with three bullets in his body,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said.
Shelita Pierce, Hall’s sister, said at a news conference Wednesday that her brother does not talk about the incident, which still seems to haunt him. She said her brother is taking classes to become an auto mechanic and attending counseling sessions to help him recover.
“He’s not happy about it,” Pierce said. “It will probably be an ongoing thing for him.”
Pierce said she was initially unhappy with Gillette’s 10-year sentence, but after prosecutors explained that he could face an additional 10 years if he committed another crime after his release, she was somewhat more satisfied.
“I understand it,” Pierce said. “I don’t like it, but I understand it.”
Alsobrooks said prosecutors were “satisfied that [Gillette] will be off our streets for some time.” She said that Gillette — who was named Rookie of the Year after he joined Mount Rainier’s police force in 2007 and Officer of the Year twice after that — was involved in a number of questionable incidents before his encounter with Hall.
“I think that Officer Gillette was a devious person,” Alsobrooks said. “I’m glad he will be serving time.”
Mount Rainier Police Chief Michael Scott declined to comment on Gillette’s sentencing. Gillette was suspended with pay after the incident, which he initially characterized as one in which he shot and critically wounded a suspect who tried to carjack him. He was later indicted, after detectives unraveled his tale.
William Brennan, Gillette’s defense attorney, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.