Wednesday Mar 11 2009
Foresthill woman pleads guilty to assault charge
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Gilson expected to get four-year prison term
A Foresthill woman will likely spend the next four years of her life in prison after pleading guilty to charges that she caused great bodily injury to her boyfriend by setting him on fire. Wednesday afternoon, a Placer County Judge asked 21-year-old Traci Nicole Gilson to reiterate out loud the “serious and violent” felony charges she was pleading guilty to. Gilson’s plea is almost the end to a November 2008 incident during which she was charged with setting her boyfriend, Allan Lane Scott of Foresthill, on fire while the two were inside a vehicle. Her sentencing is scheduled for next month, when she is expected to formally receive a four-year prison term. Gilson pleaded guilty to one count of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury. She also admitted to an allegation that she personally inflicted great bodily injury on a victim under circumstances involving domestic violence. Gilson’s conviction will count as a strike on her criminal record, Judge Jeffrey Penney said, which means if she ever faces a future conviction, her sentence could be doubled. Also, Gilson will only receive about 15 percent of the almost four months she has spent in county jail put toward her prison sentence. For offenses that are not strikes, most inmates would get 50 percent credit counted toward their jail sentence, Penney explained. Gilson’s father, brother and cousin were in the courtroom Wednesday as were Scott’s parents. Following his daughter’s plea, Tom Gilson said at least it wasn’t a longer prison term that they had originally been told was possible. “It could’ve been worse,” Gilson said. Scott’s father, John, spoke on behalf of his son, who did not come to court with his parents Wednesday. John Scott said Allan Scott is still suffering from burn wounds on his hands and medical bills that have climbed up to $250,000. The skin on his son’s hands is still raw so it cuts easily and has been susceptible to infections, John Scott said. John Scott described the outcome of Traci Gilson’s court proceedings as “very unfortunate.” “They were both going down the same road, which was not a good road,” John Scott said Wednesday. “I hope Traci can get some help. I think she’s a good person.” John Scott said his son first met Traci Gilson when she came up to Foresthill. He said his family was willing to help her and posted bail for her when she was booked under a separate criminal charge prior to the November incident so Gilson could continue to show up at her job. He added that his son would often help his girlfriend by fixing her car so she could make it to work. “He is who he is,” John Scott said of his son. “He’s a good person.” John Scott also expressed the family’s sympathy for the Gilsons. “We know the Gilson family is going through all kinds of grief,” John Scott said. “It’s unfortunate.” While a handful of counts were dismissed against Gilson, Penney told her that they can be considered during sentencing. Gilson is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. April 15 in Dept. 31 at the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at email@example.com or post a comment.