A career criminal convicted of murdering a 22-year-old Oakland man during a marijuana deal in 2011 was sentenced today to 116 years to life in state prison. Gregory Gadlin, 46, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as family members of Evan Meisner said he was a villain and evil for shooting Meisner just after midnight on March 31, 2011, in a house Meisner was renting on Lyon Avenue in East Oakland.
Meisner was a construction worker, not a drug dealer, but he had been given a quarter-pound of marijuana as payment for helping a friend and told friends that he was going to sell the marijuana to a neighbor because he needed money to pay his rent, according to evidence presented at Gadlin’s trial. Prosecutor Greg Dolge told jurors that Gadlin, who had recently been paroled after serving time in state prison for a robbery conviction, lived next door to Meisner and circumstantial evidence, such as cellphone records, indicates that he is the man who shot Meisner in the face and killed him.
Gadlin normally would have faced 25 years to life in state prison for his first-degree murder conviction plus another 25 years for using a gun to kill Meisner, but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson tripled his sentence for murder under the state’s tough “three strikes” sentencing rules because of his prior criminal record.
Rolefson also sentenced Gadlin to additional time for being an ex-felon in possession of a gun and for his three prior robbery convictions. Meisner’s mother, Valerie Meisner, described Gadlin as “a lifetime criminal” and said she’s upset that he was released from state prison in 2011 after serving only 12 years of a 26-year sentence. Meisner’s father, Mark Meisner, said, “California is releasing too many people on parole because inmates like Gadlin get out early for good behavior.”
Valerie Meisner described Gadlin as “a villain who valued his own gain over a good man.” She said, “Evan was about peace” and would have handed over his marijuana to Gadlin instead of resisting him. Judge Rolefson agreed, saying the murder was “absolutely senseless” because the evidence in the case indicates that Meisner “would have been happy to hand over the marijuana” if Gadlin had demanded it. Rolefson said the fatal shooting “seems like it was an execution and cold-blooded and heartless” and Gadlin consequently “should never hit the streets again.”
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