FromPlatte County Prosecuting Attorney "Eric Zahnd"

Date: January 11, 2016

Subject: 128 year sentence for prison escapee who shot at officers

A man who escaped from prison and then shot at multiple law enforcement officers during a high-speed chase has been sentenced to 128 years in prison.  Scott A. Gilbert, 52, received the sentence from Platte County Judge Ann Hansbrough on January 8 after being found guilty of ten felonies in a November 2015 jury trial.

 Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “Thank goodness no police officers were injured in apprehending this dangerous escaped inmate. Anyone who would shoot at law enforcement officers and put countless people in harm’s way deserves a long prison sentence, and that’s exactly what this defendant will serve.”

 Evidence at trial showed that Gilbert was traveling in a stolen black 1997 GMC pickup truck that left the McDonald’s in Platte City at about 10:00 am on May 10, 2013.  Earlier that morning, Gilbert had escaped from the Lansing, KS Correctional Facility, allegedly with another inmate who was driving the truck.

 The officer attempted to pull over the vehicle, but it refused to stop.  Instead, the vehicle led several law enforcement officers on a pursuit heading northbound on 1-29 with speeds exceeding 120 miles per hour.

 The chase later traveled through several rural highways in Platte County.  During the pursuit, Gilbert fired a shotgun multiple times and struck the vehicles of four different law enforcement officers.

 Gilbert and the other inmate eventually made it to rural Clinton County, where they entered and barricaded themselves in an unoccupied residence.  Officers from multiple departments, including a tactical team, surrounded the house, and the pair eventually surrendered. 

 At sentencing, dozens of law enforcement agents attended as a show of solidarity and support for their fellow officers.

 Prior to committing his 10 felonies in Platte County, Gilbert had been convicted of 52 felony offenses in Kansas.  Prosecutors argued that Gilbert should be sentenced to 62 years on each of four armed criminal action charges—one year for each of his felony convictions.

 Zahnd said, “This defendant has the longest rap sheet of any person I have prosecuted during by 13 years in office.  Our goal was to make sure the felonies he committed in Platte County were his last—by making sure he spent the rest of his life in prison.” 

 Hansbrough imposed 25 year sentences on each count of assault of a law enforcement officer and 7 years on each armed criminal action count.  The Court ordered all of those sentences to run consecutively, for a total of 128 years.  The Court also sentenced Gilbert to six years in prison for tampering with a motor vehicle and seven years in prison for resisting arrest.  She ordered those sentences to running concurrently with his other sentences.

 The other inmate remains in custody, and his case is scheduled for a jury trial in June 2016.

 The case was investigated by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the Platte City Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department, the Cameron Police Department, and the Trimble Police Department. 

 The case was tried by First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Gibson and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Blake Sherer.

 The charges against the other inmate are merely accusations, and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 A photo of Gilbert is above.  If you need more information, please contact our office’s media liaison, Tanya Faherty.

Eric G. Zahnd
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney
415 Third Street, Suite 60
Platte City, Missouri  64079
(816) 858-3476

(816) 858-3472 (fax)