Families allowed to review Gerald pre-sentence report
CLINTON - An attorney representing family members who lost seven loved ones in a drunk driving crash last year, called a pre-sentence report she read today "shocking."
Today, family members got the opportunity to review that document, and what's not included in it is raising serious questions. Gerald killed seven people when he drove drunk last year in Slaughter. He was sentenced to 70 years initially, then that sentence was cut in half when he was re-sentenced. Now, his attorneys are saying the 35 year sentence is excessive.
Outside the Clinton Courthouse, family members of the victims held signs and chanted "justice."
"Brett Gerald has been sentenced and re-sentenced," John Gaines Jr. said. "Right now, he's trying to get an 'excessive' sentence reduced again... We are outraged by this."
The controversy today stems from a 30-page pre-sentence report that family members say they requested but weren't given access to until after Gerald was already sentenced. Attorney Jill Craft said she was shocked after reading it.
"The most important thing is what was not in the report," Craft said.
The report is under seal and we don't know what wasn't in the report. Neither the District Attorney or Craft would comment on exactly what was inside.
"We have this right," Craft said. "We are entitled to have this right. We never got it. If we had, then they certainly would have been in a position to comment on it which they never were."
As three families continue to grieve, they're leaning on their faith to get them through the hard days. They want justice, but they claim it's not that easy to find.
"The defendant in this case had more rights than the victims," Gaines Jr. said. "That's a travesty."
Gerald and his attorney were not in court today. His attorney appealed his sentence last month to an appeals court.