THE TRUTH: IN CASE YOU MISSED IT A CHICAGO SALES MANAGER MURDERED A SALES REP IN 2009 AT SAIA TERMINAL IN CHICAGO THE SALES MANAGER FELT THAT UPPER MANAGEMENT HAD HIM FOLLOWED AND SNITHCED ON BY SALES REPS. WAS THIS THE CAUSE OF HIS MURDER?
32 YEARS IN PRISON
February 3, 2012
John Gilbert talked about regret and sadness.
He talked about families and pain. Crying noticeably, Gilbert took “ownership” of “the mess I’ve caused” nearly three years ago when he shot to death SAIA Trucking coworker Jason Dragos at the company’s Burr Ridge office.
“I blame no one,” Gilbert said during the second day of his sentencing for Dragos’ 2009 murder. “I regret it every day. ... I wish to be removed from this nightmare. I will regret this to the end.”
Gilbert’s end might come in as a free man after Judge George Bakalis sentenced Gilbert to 32 year in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He must serve the full sentence, under state sentencing guidelines for murder.
In October, Gilbert pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to killing Dragos and prosecutors agreed to cap his maximum punishment at 60 years – the same number Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Pawl asked Bakalis to give Gilbert.
Pawl said prosecutors showed Gilbert mercy by not seeking an extended term or any sentencing add-ons in the plea agreement, and called on Bakalis to grant no further leniency in issuing the sentence.
“(Gilbert) decimated a family is what he did,” Pawl offered in his argument. “Make no mistake, this defendant lured Jason Dragos to his execution. He still wants you to believe he doesn’t know why he killed Jason.”
Gilbert’s attorney, Jed Stone, recommended a 25-year sentence for his client because of the impact mental illness had on the case and Gilbert’s life.
“There was no plan to kill Jason Dragos. There nothing other than craziness in the killing of Jason Dragos,” Stone said. “It was a crazy idea that came from no reason and made no sense. Mental illness is at the heart of the … tragic, unnecessary death of Jason Dragos.”
Stone described 25 years in IDOC – which he called “its own hell” – as enough time to ensure Gilbert, who has other health issues, would be of no harm to anyone when released at 73 years old. While Stone used “stupid” and “crazy” multiple times to describe the crime, Gilbert never came close to similar phrasing during his statement.
Gilbert made only a slight reference to mental illness when he said the events around Dragos’ murder are “cloudy.”
“I wish I could go back and see that man (referring to himself) and say no,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert didn’t directly apologize to the Dragos family, but expressed “regret” for the hurt he caused them and, to Dragos’ children for “taking your dad.”
Earlier, Pawl said any attempts by Gilbert at an apology or remorse would be “hollow” and “untrue.”
“He didn’t care for (Dragos) then, he doesn’t care for him now,” Pawl said. “The pain the Dragos family is going through is absolutely indescribable."
Related Topics: Burr, Murder, Patch, Police, SAIA, and john gilbert
February 3, 2012