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Charles City serial burglar sentenced to life in prison

Man committed several crimes including 2012 homicide

Gavel
Gavel

Twenty years in federal prison turned into life Thursday for a Charles City man who possessed guns as a felon and committed several burglaries, but one burglary resulted in the homicide of a 70-year-old man and that act warranted the maximum sentencing.

Mardelle “Marti” Hornsby, daughter of victim Carl Kenneth Gallmeyer, said in a victim’s impact statement that she and her family endured months of torment over not knowing who killed her father. They didn’t know why and wondered if it could be more than one person.

“Would the person come after them,” Hornsby of Florida, said.

Hornsby said it wasn’t until a year later they received word of who might have killed her father.

“Why would anyone kill my dad....he was a good guy,” Hornsby said. “Everyone enjoyed his good humor and infectious laugh. My dad lost his life because of Randy Patrie’s life of crime.”

Several of Gallmeyer’s family members attended the hearing and shed tears when Patrie, 41, was sentenced to life in prison.

Gallmeyer, a retired Clarksville grocer, was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head Oct. 4, 2012, according to court documents. The weapon used was a .410 sawed off shotgun, which Patrie owned. The burglary and Gallmeyer’s death occurred Sept. 25, 2012 but Gallmeyer’s body wasn’t found until authorities responded a week later to a welfare check.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade said there was evidence Patrie used the sawed-off shotgun in connection with the burglary, authorities found several stolen items and firearms belonging to Gallmeyer in Patrie’s possession and Gallmeyer’s death resulted in commission of the burglary.

Patrie pleaded guilty last September to possession of firearms by a felon as an armed career criminal and possession of sawed-off shotguns.

“Mr. Gallmeyer was the most innocent of victims,” Reade said. “He posed no threat to Patrie at any time. Mr. Gallmeyer was an obstacle to Randy Patrie getting (money and property). There was no reason for this murder. He could have burglarized the home while he was out ... like he did the others (burglaries).”

Reade, who could consider relevant criminal conduct in sentencing, explained in her sentencing order that by a preponderance of the evidence Patrie “willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation murdered” Gallmeyer. She said no other suspects have been identified in the burglary and homicide.

The prosecutors presented testimony and evidence regarding the burglary and made an argument that Patrie was the killer during the first part of sentencing hearing back in February.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Pete Deegan briefly argued today for the life sentencing, saying this was a “cold-blooded murder” and Patrie, a lifetime criminal, has shown no remorse.

Steve Swift, Patrie’s attorney, argued that Patrie should only receive 10 years for each charge, which is appropriate because he was never indicted for burglary or murder.

Patrie declined to make an allocution before Reade prounouced sentencing.

Reade said the life was appropriate based on the evidence and because Patrie is a “violent recidivist, serial burglar who pays no attention to the laws of society. He continues to have guns, he’s capable of committing violent acts and has no regard for human life.”

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