AUGUSTA — A Kennebec County man pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of elevated aggravated assault in a 2020 drive-by shooting.

Jeremiah D. Gamblin Waterville police photo

Jeremiah D. Gamblin, who has lived in China, was sentenced by Justice Michaela Murphy to serve 10 years in prison, all but 3 1/2 years suspended, and three years of probation for his involvement in the shooting that left a Waterville girl with a permanent injury.

Gamblin was 21 as of last September, but his age could not be confirmed for this story.

Monday’s court appearance was the second time Gamblin has pleaded guilty to a charge related to the shooting.

Nearly a year ago, Gamblin withdrew a planned guilty plea to the assault charge after videoconferencing problems interrupted that day’s court proceedings, with prosecutors agreeing to drop the elevated aggravated assault charge.

The family of Emahleeah Frost, the girl  injured in the shooting, did not attend Monday’s hearing.

Kennebec County Assistant District Attorney Frayla Tarpinian said Frost’s family members were happy the process was over so the matter, which has turned their world upside-down, can be put into the past.

Gamblin, wearing a green jail jumpsuit, said he did not agree with all the information presented by the state, but he was agreeing to plead guilty.

Tarpinian said if the matter had gone to trial, she was prepared through testimony by Waterville police and Frost’s family to show Gamblin, then 21, was an accomplice to Gavin Tyler Loabe, then 19, who sought to confront a man who had apparently texted Loabe’s girlfriend and flirted with her .

Prosecutors say Gamblin accompanied Loabe on Feb. 28, 2020, when he acquired a gun in Canaan, provided directions to the Summer Street home where the man had once lived, waited with Loabe for an opportunity and videotaped the shooting on his cellphone.

One of the bullets fired by Loabe struck Frost, then 7, in the chest. A bullet also lodged in her spine, where it remains.

Loabe pleaded guilty in April to a felony charge of elevated aggravated assault, a crime whose maximum penalty is 30 years in prison. In May, he was sentenced to serve a maximum of 15 years, with all but eight years suspended, and four years of probation.

Both Loabe and Gamblin were indicted by a Kennebec County grand jury in July 2020.

Roger Brunelle, Gamblin’s lawyer, asked that Gamblin receive credit for time he had already served in jail. Murphy agreed to the request.

Gamblin has been in custody since his arrest in 2020. He was also serving probation for a different crime, and that will be served concurrently with his probation in this case.

Among the conditions of his probation, Gamblin is not to have contact with Frost or her parents. Additionally, he is prohibited from using marijuana or illegal drugs, and he must undergo substance abuse counseling.

“This is an appropriate sentence, given his age, his record, as well as his role as the accomplice,” Murphy said.

Following the hearing, Tarpinian said serious actions have serious consequences.

“Whatever folks are thinking when they make these decisions, they have lifelong consequences,” she said. “While (Loabe and Gamblin) are having serious consequences, the effect on this child is going to be with her for the rest of her life. it causes her pain now, and it’s not likely to get any better.”

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