A Temecula man who pointed a shotgun at a 7-year-old Girl Scout selling cookies door-to-door was sentenced Friday, March 18, to six months in jail.
John Michael Dodrill pleaded guilty in February to a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a firearm in a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and avoided possible retrial on a felony assault with a gun charge. A jury deadlocked in March 2015 on the latter charge.
Before the first trial, Dodrill, 61, pleaded guilty to a separate a felony charge of possession of an illegal assault weapon, which was seized at his home. The sentence imposed by Judge John Monterosso on Friday applied to the both charges.
“Mr Dodrill to this day doesn’t believe he did anything wrong,” Monterosso said during the sentencing hearing. The gun was loaded, the safety off and the judge, who presided at the trial, said, “We were essentially a finger twitch away from a homicide.”
On Feb. 2, 2014, authorities said the girl – who had been selling boxes of cookies from her Radio Flyer wagon – rang the doorbell of Dodrill’s Strawberry Tree Lane condominium, in the same complex where her family lived.
When no one answered, she knocked. The girl’s father was standing a few feet behind her.
Dodrill answered the door and pointed a loaded Mossberg shotgun at the Girl Scout, according to authorities. It was about 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning and his wife was asleep. The judge recalled Dodrill’s testimony in court as if he “was fighting off a seige of gang members.”
“He said, ‘You might not want to do that again’ in, like, a mean voice,” the girl, identified in court as Jane Doe, testified during the original trial.
“Actually my client did state how remorseful he was,” in an initial police interview, defense attorney Karen Lockhart told the judge. She advised him not to make another statement prior to sentencing.
Deputy District Attorney Jerry Pfohl said the poor decisions made by the defendant “is something that is going to affect (Jane Doe) for the rest of her life.”
The Girl Scout’s father said in court he had not heard the defendant express remorse, and if the tables had been turned, “I would be on my knees begging for forgiveness.”
Source: Press Enterprise