In what was scheduled to be the final pre-trial hearing, Bradley S. Gilbert, 22, of Montpelier entered a guilty plea on one count of aggravated murder with the specification that he had used a handgun when committing the crime.
The charges are in connection to the death of Jonathon Hofner, whose body was found north of Montpelier in October of 2015.
Negotiations between Williams County Prosecutor Katherine Zartman and Defense Attorney Stacey Stiriz resulted in the State conceding to drop one count of aggravated murder against Gilbert as well as several other charges related to the crime. These included the kidnapping, robbery, petty theft, theft, and grand theft auto charges Gilbert had also been charged with. The State only conceded to drop these charges if Gilbert pled guilty to one count of aggravated murder with the aforementioned specification.
The exact amount of time Gilbert will serve for the conviction will be determined following a pre-sentence investigation. However, the final agreement presented to Williams County Common Pleas Judge J.T. Stelzer was for 28 years to life in prison. With this, the mandatory minimum sentence imposed will be an aggregate of 28 years, 25 years for the aggravated charge with an additional 3 years for the specification.
The sentencing hearing is currently set for September 9 at 8:30 a.m. and could still carry the maximum sentence of life in prison as well as a maximum fine of up to $25,000.
Credit for time served will not be given to Gilbert due to the seriousness of the crime.