Jackson man gets prison sentence in cop assaults

Friday, November 16, 2001

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A Jackson, Mo., man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to assaulting two Jackson police officers, punching one in the eye and trying to break the other's thumb.

Randall W. Gills, 42, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, resisting arrest and assaulting the two police officers.

On May 17, neighbors on Morton Street said Gills sped his truck up the street, narrowly missing a child. The witnesses said he was staggering when he got out of the truck and appeared drunk.

Police Sgt. Howard Hammers and patrolman Rick Whitaker found Gills outside his home at 114 Morton St. and started to arrest him for careless driving and disturbing the peace.

Gills admitted Wednesday he punched and kicked Hammers, and despite being Maced, continued to fight, hitting Hammers in the eye and grabbing Whitaker's thumb and bending it backwards.

It took additional officers from the police and sheriff's department to finally subdue Gills.

His blood-alcohol level was shown to be 0.186 percent, well over the legal limit.

Prosecuted by assistant Cape Girardeau prosecuting attorney Lora E. Cooper, the plea and sentencing took place in front of Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton in Boone County on a change of venue.

Gills received 10 years in prison for first-degree felony assault of a law enforcement officer for his attack on Hammers, an additional year in the county jail for the misdemeanor of resisting arrest and six months in the county jail for driving while intoxicated.

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