Gervasi nets lengthy prison term

Print Article

Gervasi

By KEITH KINNAIRD

News editor

SANDPOINT — A Bonner County man who engaged in a drug-fueled interstate crime spree that culminated with him opening fire on a sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday.

Steven Michael Gervasi will have to serve at least 12 years of the sentence before he can be considered for parole, according to the terms of a binding plea agreement that resulted from civil mediation in the case.

Gervasi, 27, was charged in Idaho with burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault, burglary, first-degree arson, unlawful possession of a firearm and robbery. He was charged in Washington state with attempted murder of a law officer, methamphetamine possession and unlawful weapon possession.

The litany of charges date back to May 2016, when Gervasi was of accused of burglarizing a relative’s home, robbing and shooting at a woman outside of a Spirit Valley residence that he burned down. The crime spree ended with Gervasi allegedly opening fire on Bonner Deputy Alex Hughes after he pursued him into Pend Oreille County. Hughes narrowly missed being struck by the incoming rounds, according to court documents.

Gervasi escaped following the shooting, but was arrested without incident several days later.

As his cases in both states neared trial, Gervasi agreed to enter into civil mediation that sought an omnibus resolution to the series of criminal charges. The result was a plea agreement which winnowed down the total number of criminal charges to five — aggravated assault on a law officer, burglary, grand theft, unlawful firearm possession and meth possession.

The amended aggravated assault charge alleged that Gervasi acted as a principal or aided and abetted Jessica Brown, who was also in the vehicle during the pursuit.

Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said he was grateful for the extensive forensic and investigative work done by authorities in Pend Oreille County, Washington, which included fingerprinting and DNA analyses which linked Gervasi to the suspect vehicle.

Marshall said the case demonstrates the senseless violence that can erupt when a person is on a prolonged drug binge and added that the sentence serves as a deterrent.

“It does send a strong message that this will not be tolerated,” said Marshall.

Gervasi’s counsel, Doug Phelps, conceded that the physical evidence against his client was strong, but there were weaknesses in the witness statements that could have been exploited at trial.

However, Phelps said the defense agreed to resolve the case in order to provide certainty regarding sentencing.

“If anything this case is a sad statement of the effects of methamphetamine and the lives ruined by methamphetamine,” said Phelps.

Gervasi declined to address the court before the sentence was imposed.

First District Judge Barbara Buchanan, who has been a jurist for nearly 25 years, has seen Gervasi graduate from juvenile to adult crimes over the years. She said that Gervasi became addicted to meth at a very young age, although it in no way excused his conduct.

“People have to take responsibility,” Buchanan said.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Initiation — Washington, D.C. style

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Russ Fulcher has learned during his first seven weeks in Congress that the border security debate has no borders. "The border security issue is not going away," the Idaho R...

Comments

Read More

Doctor accused of felony stalking

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — A preliminary hearing is nearing for a Spokane physician accused of stalking and drug possession in Bonner County. Joseph Paul Kincaid was arrested last July on first-degree stalking and...

Comments

Read More

Festival to announce concerts weekly

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Forget April Fool’s Day. That’s so last year. Instead of releasing their entire line-up for its 37th annual summer concert, The Festival at Sandpoint plans to make weekly announcements,...

Comments

Read More

Sandpoint Elks donates $2K to CCS programs

February 22, 2019 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — For those battling cancer, the emotional and financial impacts can be devastating. Community Cancer Services seeks to ease that burden by providing information, emotional and financial s...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2019 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X