Appeals court says long sentence appropriate in convenience store shooting, robbery

Idaho StatesmanSeptember 21, 2013 

Brandon Joshua Peaslee

A Boise man facing a possible life sentence for his role in a Garden City holdup gained no sympathy this week from the Idaho Court of Appeals.

Brandon Joshua Peaslee argued that the 10 years to life sentence handed down in December 2011 by Fourth District Ada County Judge Deborah Bail was excessive.

Earlier that year, Peaslee and co-defendant Taylor John Wray robbed a Jackson's convenience store. Wray entered the store and shot a clerk in the chest and arm with a 12-gauge shotgun. The clerk suffered serious injuries.

Peaslee waited outside in the getaway car. However, he supplied Wray with the shotgun and ammunition and worked to unfree a round when the shotgun jammed while Wray loaded it before entering the store. The gun, ammunition, ski mask and gloves were later found in the trunk of Peaslee's car when he was arrested.

"The record indicates that, despite Peaslee’s lack of a criminal background, Peaslee demonstrated an aggressive persona,"Judge John Melanson wrote in the six-page decision. "Peaslee posted a number of pictures online which depicted himself posing with guns and knives. Consistent with this persona, when officers searched Peaslee’s vehicle, they discovered two loaded shotguns,"

Bail, the district court judge, considered a number of factors, including Peaslee's record, that he came from a supportive family, is intelligent and does not suffer from any type of major mental illness.

"However, despite these mitigating factors, the district court found that protection of society, along with specific and general deterrence, warranted a unified life sentence with a minimum period of confinement of ten years" Melanson wrote. "Having thoroughly reviewed the record in this case, we cannot say the district court abused its discretion by imposing this sentence."

Peaslee is serving his sentence at the Kit Carson Correctional Center in Burlington, Colo. He is eligible for parole in 2021.

Wray was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery and was given an enhanced sentence for infliction of great bodily injury. He is serving a sentence of 20 years to life at the Idaho Correctional Center in Kuna. He will not be eligible for parole until 2031.

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