Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Thorpe pleads guilty in Easter drive-by shooting involving child victim
A 43-year-old man from Zanesville pleaded guilty in common pleas court Wednesday to four second-degree felony counts of felonious assault after shooting at a car full of people, including one child, on Easter Sunday.
Jermaine Thorpe faces a joint recommendation of 16 years in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.
Just after 8 p.m. on April 9, a woman called 911 to report that she had just been a victim of a drive-by shooting. The incident occurred while Thorpe was on parole for another crime.
The victim in the case recognized Thorpe and identified him as the shooter.
Video evidence shows Thorpe driving through an intersection on Pine Street and firing several shots at the woman’s car while she was inside with two other adults and a toddler. Bullets struck the vehicle at least three times, with one going through the backseat between the child and an adult. Thorpe then quickly fled the scene.
Detective Sergeant Phil Michel with the Zanesville Police Department located and searched the car Thorpe was driving and found shell casings outside the car between the hood and windshield.
When interviewed, Thorpe’s girlfriend, Jena Wise, denied having any knowledge of the shooting. Wise instead described being assaulted by a man at a local bar.
After searching Wise’s phone, detectives found messages between her and Thorpe discussing the shooting. Still later, Thorpe was found hiding in Wise’s apartment.
Thorpe later admitted that he believed the vehicle that he shot at belonged to the person who allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.
Wise faces two third-degree felony charges of obstructing justice for lying to detectives during the investigation and hiding Thorpe from the police.
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