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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gilco enters guilty plea

A local woman entered a guilty plea in the robbery case of elderly Man area woman which led to the victim's death.

Authorities say three individuals plotted to rob the victim and when the robbery went wrong it turned into a brutal homicide.

Jeananne Gilco entered a guilty plea on Oct. 26 in Logan Circuit Court. Gilco entered a guilty plea to the charge of first degree robbery, which carries a possible sentence of 10-244 years.

Gilco also faces the possibility of having the Habitual Criminal Act applied to her which could enhance any penalties she receives.

According to court documents, Gilco admitted to being hooked on drugs and alcohol and suffering from mental disorders.

"I was in Crown, with Hurston Simpkins (and) David Huffman arrived and we got into a car," Gilco stated in a court document. "He asked Hurston to go in an apartment with him while he robbed it. Hurston agreed. We went to the apartment and they went in. David was beating a woman, so I yelled for Hurston to come in from the bedroom area. He saw the situation and we ran."

Gilco is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 20, 2010.

Last year, Gilco's codefendant David Huffman, 30 of Gilbert gave testimony in court about his part in the robbery of Zola Hatfield which led to her death. Huffman had agreed to enter a guilty plea and agreed to roll over on co-defendants Hurston Simpkins and Gilco.

Huffman said Gilco and Simpkins plotted with another individual to rob the elderly woman, who was believed to have OxyContin.

The report said the trio planned on swapping the pills for crack cocaine as they had been on a crack binge on Jan. 4, 2007. At the last moment, the third individual could not be found and Huffman was asked to get involved, the report said.

"I did not want to do it at first, but we run out of crack," Huffman said. "When you run out, all you want is more."

The trio had allegedly planned on gaining entry to Hatfield's residence and threatening her with a crowbar-type object to get the prescription pain drugs.

"I knocked on the door and told Zola I had to use the phone," said Huffman, who was reportedly friends with the victim. "I walked in and behind me Hurston and Jean Ann ran past me. He struck her in the back of the head. I said, ‘We wasn't supposed to do anything but rob her.'"

Huffman then allegedly went to the bedroom looking for the victim's purse and drugs and heard noises from the kitchen area where Hatfield was reportedly being beaten and stabbed to death. He said he thought the noises were the other two invaders "looking for stuff." When he came out, he said he saw Zola Hatfield dead on the floor and Gilco allegedly told him, "she can't identify us now."

Simpkins reportedly went back to look for a gun, and, when Huffman left, he pulled the door together leaving a bloody palm print. Huffman said Gilco tried to cash some money orders stolen from Hatfield and the person who wanted to buy the stolen gun never showed up.

Gilco allegedly swapped the stolen money orders for crack, and told Huffman to go to her apartment. She allegedly came back furious saying her father had filed a restraining order on her. Later she allegedly said, "They don't have anything on us."

The trio allegedly then ran out of crack and went out to get more, when "the task force picked me up," Huffman explained. He described the weapon used as a metal bar about 18 inches to two feet in length.

Huffman's defense attorney, Jim Walker, pointed out that scientific evidence corroborated Huffman's testimony.

Prosecutor Brian Abraham said at first he was skeptical of Huffman's story, until lab results returned, indicating that the blood on Huffman's clothing was his own. Reportedly, Huffman only had a bloody palm print and a drop of the victim's blood on his shoe despite being at a particularly bloody crime scene.

Walker said Huffman was looking for drugs in a room of the apartment while the victim was in the kitchen with Gilco and Simpkins where the murder took place.

In 2008, Huffman waived his sentencing as well as his right to a jury trial in return for a felony murder conviction and a sentence of life in prison with mercy, meaning he won't be eligible for parole for 15 years.


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