ELYRIA — Patrick Gall was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 28 years after a jury found him guilty of aggravated murder in connection to the July shooting death of Willie Fisher.
The jury in the trial deliberated for around three hours before returning a guilty verdict on all charges against Gall, 19, of East Cleveland. Gall faced charges of aggravated murder, murder, felonious assault and tampering with evidence for what prosecutors said was his role in a murder-for-hire plot that took the life of Fisher, whose body was found behind a shopping plaza on East Avenue on July 6.
Prosecutors have said Bruce Arnoff, 59, of Solon, paid Gall and John Sullivan, 30, of East Cleveland, $500 to execute Fisher.
Prosecutors showed the jury a video they said was of Sullivan shooting Fisher three times, including one to the back of the head. While Gall didn’t pull the trigger, prosecutors argued he was just as guilty in Fisher’s death because he was complicit in the crime with Sullivan and Arnoff.
Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo said all three men had parts in the plan to kill Fisher, and Gall “played his role perfectly.”
After the jury returned a guilty verdict, Judge John Miraldi dismissed the jury and immediately sentenced Gall.
Eric Kilgore, who is Fisher’s son and testified during the trial, addressed the court prior to Gall being sentenced.
Kilgore said his father had battled demons in his life, including a struggle with drug addiction. Kilgore also pointed out he was the only member of Fisher’s family to attend the trial.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t have more family here, besides me today, because they held (onto) his mistakes more than who he was,” Kilgore said. “But no matter what he was, I never looked at him like that. I would stand by him today, tomorrow or whenever.”
Kilgore said he had been put up for adoption at a young age, but after he turned 18, he decided he wanted to meet his father. He and Fisher reunited July 6, 2011 — seven years to the day that Fisher was shot and killed.
Fisher recently asked Kilgore to assist him in getting help to overcome his addiction, Kilgore told the court.
After Kilgore addressed the court, Assistant County Prosecutor Laura Dezort spoke.
“I draw the court’s attention to the defendant now, who apparently finds it all amusing,” Dezort said. “He’s got a smirk on his face, and he’s had a smirk on his face pretty much the whole trial. He has stared down Mr. Kilgore. He’s laughed at him throughout the course of this trial.”
Dezort said Gall had shown no remorse.
“He doesn’t even show any regret,” she said. “We’re not even seeing that. There’s an arrogance and a coldness that is remarkable, especially in someone of his age.”
Gall was given an opportunity to speak prior to the sentencing.
“I have a troubled-youth background, but that don’t define my character. They’re trying to say I don’t have any remorse or my demeanor is bad, but the tears are all soaked up in my heart,” Gall said. “It’s not just like I’m a killer or just a young black teenager who’s got tattoos on his face and on his neck. I shed a tear many times for this situation. I can’t bring Mr. Kilgore’s father back. I can’t get my freedom back. There’s nothing else I can do.”
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