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Letter from victim results in reduced charges for man accused of shooting him

By Staff | Mar 7, 2012

A man accused of shooting his wife’s friend in 2010 received house arrest and probation after the victim offered to commit perjury for payment.

Anthony Adolphus Gilkes, 53, of 17314 N. 73rd Court, Loxahatchee, was sentenced Tuesday to two years of community control, followed by three years of probation in the August shooting of Deon Johnson in Cape Coral.

Gilkes was adjudicated guilty of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and adjudication was withheld on one felony count of fleeing and eluding.

He had been facing attempted second-degree murder discharge firearm cause great bodily harm and flee elude police law enforcement officer at high speed, but the charges were reduced Tuesday under a deal with the state.

Officials at the State Attorney’s Office could not comment Wednesday.

“Due to the circumstances surrounding this case, I can’t discuss it further,” Samantha Syoen, the spokeswoman for the state, said.

Defense attorney David Brener explained that his client provided him with a letter from Johnson, who currently is in custody on unrelated charges. In the letter, written to Gilkes’ 13-year-old son, he offered to testify in his favor.

“In exchange for $3,000, he would testify that Mr. Gilkes had nothing to do with it,” Brener said. “He offered to commit perjury in exchange for money.”

“The letter basically amounted to the crime of attempted bribery on one hand,” he said. “The flip side of it is extortion.”

The state verified the letter Tuesday with Johnson, then made a deal.

According to Brener, the state offered community control and probation, with the chance for Gilkes to convert his second year of community control to probation as long as he is in compliance with the terms of his sentence.

“He will not do any jail time whatsoever,” he said.

On the original, attempted second-degree murder charge, Gilkes had been facing a life sentence to a minimum of 25 years under the 10-20-Life law. He had been facing a maximum of 15 years for the original flee elude charge.

Brener added that the reduced charges score about 23 months.

“The defense had contended all along that there were serious creditability issues regarding Mr. Johnson,” he said. “Fortunately, the discovery of this letter confirmed that in the eyes of the prosecution, and they ultimately factored that into the likelihood of the conviction.”

According to police, Gilkes arrived at his estranged wife’s home, at 605 Hancock Bridge Parkway, and knocked on a window. She allowed him inside because he wanted to talk, but then he refused to leave when she asked.

She exited the home to leave, but Gilkes’ truck was blocking the garage.

Johnson then exited the home. When Gilkes saw him, he allegedly went to his vehicle and got a handgun. An altercation occurred between the three, and as Gilkes’ wife tried to shut the front door, Gilkes’ reportedly fired three shots.

Inside the home, Johnson was bleeding from wounds to his face and arm.

Gilkes fled the area but was later apprehended. During questioning, he reportedly stated that he did not go to the home with the intent to hurt anyone; however, when he saw a man at the home, he got upset.