John Gillard # A 185473
P. O. Box 5500
15802 State Route 104 North
Chillicothe, OH 45601
THE CASE OF JOHN G. GILLARD
John Grant Gillard was sentenced to death for shooting three people, killing two of them. John's brother, William Gillard, attended a New Year's Eve party. While there, Leroy Ensign beat William and forcibly ejected him from the party. William returned later, after midnight, and fired a shot into the air. Shortly thereafter, Ensign, Denise Maxwell, and Ron Postlethwaite were shot. Ensign and Maxwell died. Police put out an all points bulletin for a truck driven by William, the truck seen leaving the scene of the shootings.
Four hours after the shootings, the Ohio Highway Patrol caught William trying to flee the state. He had high-velocity blood spatter on him that placed him within two feet of the victims at the moment they were shot. Tests showed that blood spots found on him were consistent with all three victims. Police did not issue an arrest warrant for his brother John until Jan 2.
Police later claimed they lost Postlethwaite's original statement as to the identity of the shooter. At trial, Postlethwaite identified John as the shooter. Postlethwaite also testified that he had at least eight beers and was sleeping in a poorly lit room at the time of the shootings. During trial, the state emphatically maintained that Postlethwaite identified John immediately after the shootings. However, the lead investigator has since admitted that the investigation had focused originally on William.
John's attorney, Louis Martinez, also represented William. During John's trial Martinez challenged the evidence against William, even though doing so prejudiced John. William testified at John's trial stating that he was not present at the shootings and he tried to explain away the physical evidence that implicated himself. After entering into a plea agreement that allowed him to be immediately paroled, William testified at the trial of another man that he (William) was present when Ensign was shot, but fled prior to the other shootings.
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