Deal with judge off |

Deal with judge off

Gregory Crofton

In an emotional hearing Monday, an 18-year-old convicted of savagely beating another teen-ager was ordered by a judge to spend 90-days in prison.

A planned agreement between Derek Kilgore and El Dorado Superior Court Presiding Judge Suzanne Kingsbury was scrapped because Kilgore was written up for bad behavior while in juvenile hall.

He was to have been sentenced to jail time and then enrolled in rehabilitation camp. Now Kilgore is expected to be sentenced July 16, after a diagnostic evaluation at Dual Vocational Facility in Tracy, Calif.

A diagnostic is a report issued by California Department of Corrections to determine if a convict is suited for probation.

Monday Kilgore sat shackled in a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers and listened as lawyers and a probation officer expressed what they thought should be done with him for nearly beating to death with his feet and fists a 19-year-old man from South Lake Tahoe.

On Feb. 21 the man was airlifted by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center where he spent time in a coma and received 22 stitches in his upper lip, which was ripped in half. Today he is up and around but still suffering from short-term memory loss.

“He gets things confused,” said Carlene MacLeod, the victim’s foster mother. “He’s not the same person. Hopefully he’ll recover, it just takes time.”

In a no-contest plea last month, Kilgore admitted he beat the 19-year-old for flirting with his girlfriend outside a party. A witness, who, citing fear of retribution, refused to be identified in the Tahoe Daily Tribune, yelled for Kilgore to stop. When he didn’t, the man got out of his car and was able to stop the attack.

In court, Barry Trammell, El Dorado County senior deputy probation officer, reminded the judge of the severity of the crime.

“Were it not for a heroic passerby, (the victim) would be dead. There’s no doubt he (Kilgore) would not have stopped, ” Trammell said.

After Trammel spoke, Kingsbury addressed the defendant.

“First of all, the deal, if you will, that Mr. Kilgore entered into was premised on impeccable behavior in juvenile hall. He has not had impeccable behavior in juvenile hall,” Kingsbury said. “Independent of his behavior is his attitude and demeanor is inconsistent with his professed remorse.

“You savagely beat that victim, but he came in here and said that he wanted you to get help. He had that spirit of forgiveness. You need to become that bigger person.”

Kingsbury also chastised Kilgore’s grandparents, who were in the courtroom, for hiding evidence and not forcing the defendant to contact police after the crime.

“You washed his clothes and kept him away from law enforcement,” she said. “You could have been charged with a crime. I was very, very troubled to see that occurred. I know you as his family love him, but that sends him mixed messages.”

The judge also rejected the defendant’s request to use marijuana while in custody of the court. Kilgore reportedly has a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana as medicine.

“Somehow Mr. Kilgore, a juvenile, got a medical marijuana prescription,” she said. “The court would never allow Kilgore access to marijuana … that would not happen. Period. End of story.”

The defendant, who turned 18 on Saturday, has been convicted of assault with great bodily injury. If Kingsbury does decide to sentence the defendant to more prison time, El Dorado County Probation Department has recommended a sentence of six years.

Just outside the courtroom, after Kilgore had been ordered off to prison, Kilgore’s grandmother said spitefully to MacLeod, “I hope you’re happy.”

The 19-year-old victim did not appear in court Monday.

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