Gil’s sentencing includes time for aggravated kidnapping, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The first suspect tried and convicted in an alleged carjacking in January was sentenced Friday to nearly 24 years in the Kansas Department of Corrections.
Jose Gil, 25, was convicted in November of one count each of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
Friday, District Judge Kim Schroeder set Gil’s sentence, with the convicted carjacker serving three consecutive terms – 186 months for the aggravated kidnapping charge, 61 months for aggravated robbery and 34 months for conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery – a total of 281 months or 23 years and five months. Schroeder said Gil’s time began April 23, the day he was first taken to the Seward County Jail.
Prior to the judge’s ruling, attorneys for both the state and defense, as well as Gil himself, made statements. Prosecutor Russell Hasenbank began by making the suggestion that the sentences run consecutively.
Hasenbank said the evidence in the case is clear that the individuals involved came to Liberal to do whatever was necessary to get what they wanted. He said with the victim of the alleged carjacking being handicapped, this added insult to injury.
Hasenbank said Gil, along with the other suspects in the case, Juan Garza, 26, Bobby Stensland, 19, and Matthew Perez, 27, took the vehicle, stripped it down and committed a crime “just for some wheels.”
Hasenbank concluded by saying Gil had no remorse and should serve the maximum sentence.
Gil’s attorney, Aaron Gipson, said though Gil did have 14 prior convictions, most of those were traffic violations. Gipson said his client did regret what happened and was asking for the court’s mercy. At the end of his sentence, Gil will be deported to Mexico.
Schroeder then allowed Gil to speak. The defendant said this is by far, the biggest mistake he has made. He apologized to the city of Liberal, saying he had never done anything like this before.
Schroeder next asked Gil a series of questions. When questioned, Gil said he did not have a permit to be in the U.S. Schroeder asked the defendant if he thought the law did not apply to him, and Gil said “no.”
The judge then questioned Gil in regards to many violations he had been cited for, namely several tickets for having no driver’s license.
“The law says you have to have a license,” Schroeder said.
The judge next asked Gil about whether he had thought about his wife and kids prior to committing the crime. Gil said he did not. He also admitted to be intoxicated at the time of the crime, and he said things simply got of hand.
Just before sentencing Gil, Schroeder said he did not see a lot of sincerity from the defendant, and the judge did not buy Gil’s attempt at remorse.
Gil, Stensland, Garza and Perez were arrested between Jan. 29 and March 1 by authorities in Ford and Finney counties, according to a statement from Liberal Police Capt. Pat McClurg.
Those arrests came following the alleged Jan. 10 incident in which a handicapped victim was forced out of his vehicle without his wheelchair and had to crawl for help.
The victim’s Blazer was later recovered in Finney County.
Stensland’s case was also tried in November, but after jurors could not agree on some of the charges, District Judge Clint Peterson declared a mistrial. That case will again be heard in February.
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