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One brother gets prison, another probation in bus stop shooting

TAMPA — Two brothers have been punished for their roles in last year's shooting of two East Bay High School students, with one getting probation and the other headed to prison.

Brian Gainey Jr., 18, and James Gainey, 17, accepted plea agreements from prosecutors on Oct. 23.

The elder brother, accused of firing the gun, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree murder. He received the stiffest sentence from Hills­borough Circuit Judge Ronald Ficarrotta: 15 years in prison plus five years of probation.

Prosecutors dropped the attempted murder charge against James Gainey. His attorney, Brian Gonzalez, said the evidence was weak as to whether the younger Gainey knew there was going to be a shooting.

He was allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and received four years of probation. Ficarrotta withheld adjudication, meaning James Gainey will not be considered a felon.

He owes $2,400 in restitution to the victims, who were not in the court, Gonzalez said.

Neither brother can have any contact with Jessica Davis or Gregory Powell, both 16 when they were shot in December as they walked home from their bus stop in Gibsonton's Carriage Pointe subdivision.

The Gaineys apparently were avenging an earlier bus stop beating of their younger brother. Witnesses said they heard James Gainey threaten to hurt those who watched his younger brother's assault without helping him.

In June, the East Bay graduate who drove the brothers to the bus stop pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery. Jeffrey Argo, 20, received a year of probation.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

One brother gets prison, another probation in bus stop shooting 10/29/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 31, 2008 6:08pm]
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