Monday at noon, 17-year old Gavin Heath Gilbert was sentenced to 55 years in prison for the murder of 18-year old Tyrese Pryor. No fine was assessed. The range of punishment for first degree murder is 5 years to life. The Hopkins County Jury had found Gilbert guilty Friday morning of last week and heard closing arguments in the sentencing phase this Monday morning.
Defense Attorney Frank Long argued age and an act of passion in the sentencing portion of the trial. Under Texas Law, an act of passion may be argued in sentencing but not in the guilt or innocence phase of the trial.
Assistant District Attorney Clay Harrison argued that Gilbert’s age was not a factor. The State had sought a life sentence.
Gilbert will be eligible for parole in 27.5 years. He will be 44-years old when eligible.
A dispute over a buy of a small amount of marijuana led to the shooting death of Pryor and Felony 1 murder charges. Four counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon were also filed against Gilbert. Gilbert was tried only on the murder charge in Eighth Judicial District Court.