October 24, 2013

Hosier found guilty, may face death penalty

Jury to hear sentencing phase beginning today.

By Bob Watson For the Pharos-Tribune

---- — JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A nine-man, three-woman jury returns to court this morning to begin hearing evidence that will help them decide whether former Logansport man David Hosier should get the death penalty, or be sentenced to life in prison, without parole.

The jurors from St. Charles County deliberated for just over an hour Wednesday afternoon before convicting Hosier, 58, of first-degree murder for killing Angela Gilpin, 45, on Sept. 28, 2009.

They also found him guilty of armed criminal action, burglary and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Family members declined to comment after the jury returned its verdicts about 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Hosier did not testify.

He also was charged, in a separate case, with killing Angela’s husband, Rodney Gilpin, 61, at the same time Angie was killed.

But attorneys said Wednesday this week’s trial only was for Angela’s murder, and a trial for Rodney’s murder will be decided later.

The Gilpins had been married 21 years, but had separated — and Hosier and Angie had developed a relationship that Hosier’s attorney, Donald Catlett, described during the trial as “a good dating couple” who “loved each other.”

Prosecutors argued Hosier killed the Gilpins because he was upset that Angie was leaving him to return to her husband and reconcile their marriage.

“If (Hosier) didn’t have Angela Gilpin, no one was going to have Angela Gilpin,” Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson told jurors in his closing argument Wednesday afternoon.

Richardson also reminded jurors that Hosier had told neighbor Jodene Scott: “I’m going to eliminate the problem.”

And, Richardson said, Hosier left neighbor Geralyn Bleckler a profanity-filled voice-mail message that said, among other things: “I’m going to finish it. I’m tired of the s...”

Both of those messages were delivered Sunday night, Sept. 27.

“In his own words, he tells what he is going to do in (just) a few hours,” Richardson said.

And, around 3 a.m. — when he knew Angie would be leaving for her job as a manager of the BeeLine Convenience Store in Wardsville — Richardson said Hosier stood in the hallway near the front door of her apartment and “sprayed them both (Angie and Rodney) with bullets” from a Sten submachine gun he had assembled from a kit.

Boone County Medical Examiner Carl Stacy — who did the autopsies of both bodies at Cole County’s request — testified Wednesday morning that Angela Gilpin was shot six times, including two shots to her head, and Rodney Gilpin died from three shots in the chest, and also had been hit in his elbow.

Catlett started and ended his closing argument with a video of Highway Patrol Criminalist Todd Garrison attempting to test-fire Hosier’s gun two days after it was recovered from Hosier’s car in Oklahoma — and being frustrated at getting no, or only one, shot fired before another bullet jammed.

Without replaying the second video the jury had seen just a couple hours earlier, Catlett also reminded them that Jefferson City Police Detective Mark Edwards had the same frustrating experience trying to get the gun to fire.

“No reasonable person can believe that that weapon killed Angela Gilpin,” Catlett told the jury, noting she had a concealed-carry permit and a gun in her purse.

“No one stood there with a weapon that misfired like that, time after time after time” with Angie’s being able to pull out her gun and shoot back.

“This is not the gun!” Catlett repeated several times during his 45-minute closing.

The public defender suggested the Gilpins were killed with a 9 mm. handgun, not the submachine gun that also used 9 mm. bullets — but that no one had shown that Hosier had or owned such a handgun.

Catlett also emphasized that Garrison was unable to make a clear connection between the 10 spent shell casings found at the murder scene and bullets later test-fired from the submachine gun.

He repeated Garrison’s report findings, that “the result is inconclusive ... inconclusive ... inconclusive.”

But, Richardson reminded jurors, Garrison had found four shell casings that “had been ejected from the Sten submachine gun,” and four others that had been shot from it.

Catlett told jurors to “do the right thing” and vote not guilty, because “David Hosier didn’t kill Angela Gilpin.”

Richardson said the state’s evidence was “not a theory — it’s the facts that you have.”

Because Richardson is seeking the death penalty for the first-degree murder conviction, Missouri law requires a separate hearing for the jury to decide punishment, based on both “aggravating” and “mitigating” evidence presented by attorneys for both sides.