EUGENE, Ore. — The man convicted of murdering his father and father’s partner has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
This comes after the prosecution and defense struck a deal Friday.
A jury found Johan Gillette guilty on two counts of aggravated murder last week for killing his father and his father’s partner. Johan’s attorneys used part of the four-week trial to explain that Johan killed the couple in self-defense.
A number of people gave their final statements Tuesday in court, including Johan and Johan’s brother James.
With words of sadness, grief and reflection of what happened that day on Sept. 7, 2012, and the ultimate outcome of this trial, Johan Gillette showed remorse as he gave his final statement to the court during his sentencing.
“I would like to apologize to my girlfriend for telling her that it was safe. I would like to apologize just to everyone for the situation being caused at least in part by me not keeping my big mouth shut,” Johan Gillette said.
But he also said the trial didn’t have a fair, legal or just outcome.
“I was charged with capital murder within three days of the fight itself, prior even to initial lab reports obviously well before any decent justification could be completed,” Johan said.
He said there seemed to be something fundamentally off with the nature of the charges and the prosecution’s lack of interest in community input.
Johan was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences Tuesday for beating his father James Gillette to death as well as his father’s partner former UO School of Music Dean Anne McLucas. This comes after the prosecution and defense struck a deal last Friday.
Johan signed off on a sentencing agreement giving up his state legal appeal rights in exchange for avoiding a possible death sentence. It’s a deal his brother James encouraged him to take.
“The statistics say that in these cases the majority of the time a jury comes back with a death sentence,” said James Gillette.
James Gillette is standing behind his brother. He says the community was clear his brother Johan was a peaceful and non-violent man, yet he was convicted.
“There is no possibility in our minds that this could’ve been done by my brother with intent, and therefore any charges or any way they should’ve proceeded with this case should not included the presumption of intent,” said James Gillette.
He says in a selfless act, his brother agreed to the sentence for his family, so it will give the family easier visitation rights. The state says the verdict and sentence are justified.
“People are going to say that boy I never would have expected this person to ever do this, never do it again. The reality is you did it the first time,” said Stephen Morgan, Deputy District Attorney.
But both sides agree what happened on Sept. 7, 2012 has been tough for everyone involved, especially for the victims who never got to say goodbye to their loved ones, like Anne McLucas’ son.
“I think the trial was mostly about Johan and his father. And my mother was not as much of a focus of the trial, but really was the innocent victim in all of this and should’ve never been involved in it,” said Jake Shapiro, Anne’s son.
“I do not feel what happened to him was a tragedy per se as he brought it upon himself. The only tragedy in this incident in my opinion is Anne,” Johan said.
Johan’s brother James says he and Johan were told early on not to talk to the media and feels they may have not been able to share their side of the story, which is why he’s speaking out now.
In the sentence deal, Johan cannot appeal any pretrial or trial rulings.