Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder, Unaware It Was His Second Strike for that Same Year

By Noe Herrera

MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Dawna Reeves heard an accused man’s guilty plea here last week but the man apparently forgot he had another strike for a felony conviction he committed that same year, which complicated the issue.

Maury Glen Gilliam, Jr., was arrested in August 2021 and charged with attempted murder and violating parole.

According to Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hogan, Gilliam had been convicted in the past for a violent felony. Given those facts, the District Attorney’s Office offered a plea deal of 10 years in prison and three years parole if Gilliam pleaded guilty.

Judge Reeves asked, “Mr. Gilliam, is that what you agreed to, sir?”

Gilliam responded, “Yes.”

Judge Reeves asked, “Do you intend to plead guilty or no contest today?

Gilliam responded, “No contest.”

DDA Hogan argued that if Gilliam were to plead not guilty, “the People would be able to prove based on evidence obtained by Modesto Police Department investigation that at the time of the assault, using a knife, the defendant stabbed [the victim] with a knife. His intent at the time of doing so was to kill [the victim].”

Hogan also added that Gilliam used a deadly weapon and that it affected the plea deal.

Judge Reeves said, “[Mr. Gilliam] I am imposing the minimum state restitution fine of $300” but that it would double if he violated parole. Additionally, as part of Hogan’s plea deal, he is to never own a firearm or ammunition.

Judge Reeves continued, “[T]his offense is a violent felony. It does count as a strike. That means in the future, if you commit and are convicted of any other felony offense, you will be subject to at least double the normal state prison term because you have a strike on your record. The DA is saying that they are going to strike another strike from another conviction [involving a] firearm in 2021.”

After a few seconds, Gilliam asked, “What was that last part?”

Judge Reeves responded, “I will repeat it again. The DA has alleged that you already have one strike. This is another strike. If you commit another felony, that will be a third strike.”

Gilliam repeated, “I have two strikes right now?”

Deputy Public Defender Reed Wagner then spoke to Gilliam away from the microphone for a couple of minutes. Wagner then asked if he could speak to Gilliam in private and they both left the courtroom.

According to court records, when the parties returned, Gilliam accepted a no contest plea in the matter.

About The Author

Noe is a senior-standing undergraduate at UCSB majoring in the History of Public Policy and Law. He aspires to attend law school and focus on education policy.

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