BROOKSVILLE — A 22-year-old Spring Hill man who fatally shot his older brother to prevent him from assaulting their mother will not be going to prison.
David Gorski received two years of house arrest and five years of probation Tuesday morning as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in Hernando County Circuit Court.
"It was a difficult case that could have gone either way" had it gone to a trial, Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee said. "While the state believes he overreacted, there was certainly a sympathy factor."
According to authorities, an argument between Christopher Gorski, 24, and his mother, Pamela Gorski, 49, broke out on the evening of June 10 at their home on Corrigan Drive in Spring Hill.
Christopher Gorski allegedly slapped his mother during the dispute.
After telling his brother to stop, David Gorski pulled a .22-caliber handgun from his waistband. When Christopher was about 5 feet away, David fired four shots into his brother's chest. Neither brother said a word, authorities said.
Christopher Gorski was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he died hours later.
Prosecutors charged David Gorski with manslaughter by use of firearm because the shooting lacked premeditation or "evil intent" required for a murder charge. If convicted on that charge, he could have faced a minimum sentence of 12 years in prison.
But Barbee agreed to reduce the charge to manslaughter, which meant Gorski would not have to spend time in prison. Gorski signed off on the deal Tuesday.
"We felt good about the resolution," Gorski's attorney Robert Whittel said. "I think the family is very sad that they've already lost one child. They didn't want to lose two over this."
A message left at Pamela Gorski's home was not returned Tuesday.
State records show Christopher Gorski had a lengthy criminal record, starting with assorted drug charges at age 16. Court records list numerous arrests for driving violations and three arrests on domestic violence charges, including a previous attack on his mother.
In January 2006, authorities arrested Christopher Gorski for assault and battery after an argument with his mother.
She had chided him for not turning the lights off when he left a room. He began to argue with her and threw water from a drinking glass on her saying, "This should cool you off."
Pamela Gorski went to her bedroom and closed the door, but her son followed her and kicked it in, records state.
Christopher later pleaded guilty and received six months of probation and an order to attend anger management classes. Months later, he violated his probation and received two months in prison.
In a request for a domestic violence injunction filed on the day of Christopher's arrest, Pamela Gorski told authorities that her son "is verbally abusive" to family members.
"I feel the problem will escalate with terrible consequences," she wrote in her petition.
A month later, a judge granted a one-year injunction to help prevent future violence.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.