An Eagle Point man who held up a Purple Parrot store, then fired an assault weapon at a customer when his robbery attempt was interrupted, was sentenced to nearly 28 years in prison.
Brandon Lee Gillespie, 21, was convicted of attempted aggravated murder, first-degree assault and two counts of first-degree robbery late last month for the July 9 robbery in Medford.
Under the sentence handed down today by Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ray White for the attempted aggravated murder and robbery charges, Gillespie must spend 25 years behind bars, with no chance of release thanks to Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing law. For the assault charge, he was sentenced to an additional 35 months, but could be eligible for alternative programs or early release during that time.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and a two-year sentence for that charge will be served at the same time as the assault sentence.
"This is a protection of the public," White said, noting that he was particularly disturbed by Gillespie's stated motive of control over others, his aggression, his lying to police and apparent lack of remorse.
On late July 9, Gillespie went to the Purple Parrot lottery outlet at 828 S. Central Ave. wearing a mask and a colorful beach towel around his waist like a sarong. Armed with a TEC-9 assault pistol, he was ordering a man who worked there and a female customer to obey him when another man walked in. That customer refused to comply with his demands, so Gillespie shot at him, although his gun misfired at first, then chased him and fired a volley of shots.
"In a short period of time, he did a large amount of emotional damage," said Beth Heckert, chief deputy district attorney for Jackson County. "It's just pure dumb luck that he didn't kill someone."
Gillespie's defense attorney, Paul Beneke, noted that no one was physically injured, so the sentence should be less than 25 years, which is the sentence for murder.
In a gruff voice, Gillespie apologized to his victims.
"In no way did they deserve to be terrorized by me," he said.
— Anita Burke