MICHIGAN CITY — A Michigan City man was sentenced to two years in prison, one year on work release and a year of probation on Thursday for his role in an Eastport neighborhood shooting last June.
Oshei Shakur Gerron, 25, pleaded guilty in January to a Level 4 felony count of being a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun.
In exchange for his cooperation, a Level 5 felony count of criminal recklessness was dismissed.
“First of all, I want to apologize to the court and everyone who this case may have affected, family included,” Gerron said during his sentencing hearing in La Porte Superior Court 1 on Thursday.
“I also would like to plead with the court and ask for the judge to hear my cry for help. Yes, I am wrong and have made a terrible, life-altering mistake by breaking the law again; and yes, I know I must be punished for my wrongdoing. But all I ask is that you find it in your heart to please not give me all the time in the Department of Correction.”
In fact, Gerron asked that he receive no prison time, and instead, serve two years on work release and two years on probation, or some other alternative placement.
He cited his grandmother’s “rapidly declining” health and the health of his mother, who is the caregiver for both her mother and Gerron’s eldest child now that Gerron is incarcerated.
“Your honor, yes, I have made a mistake, but I am no slouch when I am free,” Gerron said.” I take care of my responsibilities and others’, too. I work hard when I am able and am an asset to my family.”
His wife testified that he is an active father to their 5- and 3-year-old children, and that he is his eldest child’s primary parent, as that child’s mother is in prison.
“I am also still dealing with my cancer situation, which my family has been a great help and support in my recovery,” Gerron said. “My family – wife, children, mother, etc. – have been constantly losing a lot since I’ve been incarcerated and are in desperate need of my assistance.
“So, I plead, cry and beg once again that you allow me to come home in a reasonable, timely fashion, your honor.”
Deputy prosecutor Mark Roule conceded that Gerron had been “relatively forthright” and cooperative throughout the investigation, and had accepted responsibility for his actions, sparing a witness the trauma of having to testify.
However, Roule said, multiple violent felonies exist in Gerron’s criminal history, warranting some DOC time for the current case, the amount of which he left up to the discretion of the court.
“Mr. Gerron, I’ve known you for some time. You’re an intelligent person. But in this particular case, you have acknowledged, again, that you violated the law,” Judge Michael Bergerson said.
The judge said an executed prison sentence was inevitable before handing down two years behind bars, then a year of work release followed by one on probation – steps the judge said would “assist you in finding your way to provide for your family, provide for yourself, be a credit to your community, to our community.”
Gerron received an additional year of probation for having violated his previous probation by getting arrested in this case.
He was credited with 222 actual days served and 74 days good time credit, for a total of 296 days.
Michigan City Police responded to a call of shots fired in the 700 block of Emma Street on June 22, 2019, and found numerous bullet casings on Grand Avenue between Emma and Fairfield Avenue.
A witness informed told police several people were gathered outside an Emma Street residence for a birthday party when some uninvited guests – including Gerron – arrived.
When she heard the gunfire, she said, she saw Gerron standing on Grand Avenue shooting northward toward the alley.
Multiple bullets reportedly struck the detached garage, where people had initially run for cover.
Additionally, two bullets that appeared to have been fired from the southbound direction were found to have struck the garage of a Fairfield Avenue residence; and another bullet traveled through the living room and into the kitchen of a different Fairfield Avenue home.
The witness told police she believed there to have been a second shooter because of the number of gunshots, as well as the different directions from which the sound of gunfire could be heard.
However, no other shooter was named in police documents or court proceedings.