Court upholds sentence following threat to school

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A father who was upset that he couldn’t talk to his daughter after she was arrested at school for having drugs threatened to come to the school with his “guns blaring.” He was arrested and given a suspended sentence for Class D felony intimidation, which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.

Gabriel Sharkey told the officer who arrested his daughter that he would come to school with his guns, that he has a 12 gauge and that “I’ll come down and I’ll let everybody have it.” The high school was put on lock down as a result of his threat. Sharkey was charged with Class D felony intimidation and Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor but pleaded just to the intimidation charge.

The plea agreement capped his maximum sentence at 18 months and allowed him to argue his conviction should be entered as a Class A misdemeanor. The trial judge declined to enter the conviction as a misdemeanor, however, after reading a letter from the arresting officer about Sharkey’s threat. His comments to the officer came near the time last year that several police officers were shot in the United States. The trial judge also noted that Sharkey initially denied he made the threat and later denied it was a specific threat to the arresting officer.

Sharkey argued on appeal that the trial court’s consideration of only one aggravator – that the harm caused was greater than that necessary to prove the commission of the offense – was offered without any evidence. In Gabriel J. Sharkey v. State of Indiana, No. 84A04-1110-CR-550, the appellate court concluded it was a proper aggravator.

“In finding this aggravator, the trial court relied on the letter of the arresting officer which described the effects Sharkey’s threats had on himself and on the school community. The letter detailed the enormous safety concerns triggered by Sharkey’s vivid threat of blazing guns onto the school community at large. This was a concern that not only affected the victim of the intimidation but spilled over to eighteen hundred high school students and hundreds of faculty members,” wrote Judge Patricia Riley.

The COA also found the trial court didn’t abuse its discretion in not finding any mitigators and that his character and nature of the crime support the 18-month suspended sentence.



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  1. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues