Mark Gilson was again convicted of attempted murder on Lee Sheriff’s Captain Mark Cohen in 1994. Gilson’s retrial took place this week, and he was found guilty of shooting Cohen during a traffic stop 20 years ago. The first trial was overturned for ineffective assistance of counsel, then the case was dismissed for missing evidence. The state was able to put together the case and try it again, and Gilson was resentenced to 40 years in prison, the maximum under 1994 sentencing guidelines.
The Defense had filed another motion to dismiss based on the evidence that had not been preserved, but that motion was denied. The late judge Anderson had filed an order that the evidence be preserved back in 1997, but it was destroyed any way by the Sheriff’s department. The Defendant also asked to dismiss for violation of his right to speedy trial, but the court found that he had waived that right. Double Jeopardy does not apply, as the Defendant himself had been convicted, and he asked to have the conviction thrown out on appeal. The numerous motions and appeals since the first trial have made this one of the longest ongoing criminal cases in Lee County. It will be many more years before the appeals and post-conviction motions for the second trial are finally resolved.