ILNews

Court upholds sentence following threat to school

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

ADVERTISEMENT