|Lewis Bookman is Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison by Judge Coker, LIVINGSTON, July 14, 2010 - On the morning of July 13, 2010, Lewis Bookman, 47, of Goodrich was sentenced to 17 years in prison by District Judge Elizabeth Coker. Bookman was found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on June 8, 2010 by a Polk County Jury. Bookman was then scheduled for a punishment phase to be carried out on July 13. The following is a press release from the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office:
Lewis Bookman, 49, of Goodrich was sentenced to 17 years in prison by Judge Elizabeth Coker on July 13, 2010 for the March, 2009 shooting of Jennifer Gaddis. Bookman, a lifelong resident of Goodrich who was a self-employed roofer had several previous difficulties with the legal system. In 1987 he was convicted of misdemeanor Criminal Trespass and misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana. In 1998 he was again convicted of misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana. Then, in 1999, Bookman was placed on four years probation for felony Possession of Cocaine. He eventually completed that probation despite testing positive for marijuana on at least two occasions.
On the morning of March 12, 2009 Bookman rose early and, according to his own statement to the Sheriff's Office, started his day with a joint of marijuana. He then drove to an address in Livingston looking for a girl to party with. That quest led him to the victim, Jennifer Gaddis. She rode with Bookman in his pickup truck to a pasture in Goodrich. On the way, according to Gaddis, Bookman smoked another joint. At the pasture they both smoked crack cocaine. Then Bookman placed a twenty dollar bill on the dash for certain services to be rendered by Gaddis.
At the conclusion of that service, Gaddis stated that Bookman freaked out and pulled a large handgun from the center console. He emptied the gun at her, miraculously only striking her twice. He then struck her over the head with the gun. Gaddis opened the door to the truck and fell out. She attempted to reach back in to retrieve her clothes, but Bookman slammed the door shut and drove out of the pasture. Gaddis, bleeding heavily from two gunshot wounds to her back, stumbled out of the pasture and flagged down a passing car. When Sheriff's deputies arrived she was able to relate that the suspect was in a red truck with a roofing advertisement.
Further investigation led deputies to Bookman's residence where they learned from his family that he had recently returned home, stating that he had done something bad. Deputies also learned that Bookman owned a silver .357 pistol. A subsequent search of his home and truck turned up .357 ammunition, but the firearm was never recovered.
Bookman was taken into custody where he admitted that he had shot Gaddis, but stated that he thought he felt like he was being robbed by an unknown individual outside the truck. He was asked to describe the individual and could not do so, even in general terms or race or ethnicity. He could not state whether the supposed robber had a weapon.
At his trial Bookman testified that the robber was a white man with a gun and that he was standing outside the passenger window. He stated he did not intend to shoot Gaddis, but was trying to shoot the man. He could not explain why Gaddis never saw the man, why he hit Gaddis with the gun or why he left her in the pasture. He also testified that he was going to call 911, but he just hadn't done it yet when officers arrested him. He admitted to smoking marijuana but denied smoking crack cocaine.
The jury deliberated for a short time before finding Bookman guilty of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Judge Coker accepted the decision of the jury, ordered a pre-sentence investigation to be completed and set a punishment hearing for July 13, 2010.
Bookman told the community supervision officer preparing the report that he believed he had been drugged that day by Gaddis. At the hearing two friends of Bookman's testified, including one man who stated that Bookman was a good father. Under cross examination it was revealed that the witness had recently completed a probation for Sexual Assault and had been convicted of multiple instances of Driving While Intoxicated. The witness also stated that Bookman's use of and conviction for multiple drug offenses did not change his opinion of him as a good father - neither did his use of a prostitute. Bookman did not testify at the punishment hearing.
Following the hearing Judge Coker, without comment, sentenced Bookman to 17 years in prison. Court was disrupted for some minutes by emotional outbursts from his family members. Because of the use of a deadly weapon Bookman will be required to serve half the sentence before being considered for parole.