45-year sentence imposed in attempted police shooting

Jeremy Ross

A 45-year prison sentence has been imposed for Jeremy Ross, a Terre Haute man found guilty at trial of attempting to shoot a Terre Haute police officer during a March 2020 traffic stop.

Ross, 39, had faced a potential sentence of 67 years in prison, including additional years on a habitual offender enhancement.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rob Roberts asked for a 65-year sentence.

Defense attorney Matthew Daley asked for a 36-year sentence with 10 years suspended.

A jury in April found Ross guilty of attempted murder against Officer Justin Gant, who was one of four officers involved in the incident outside a Circle K gas station on Wabash Avenue east of Terre Haute.

The jury also found Ross guilty on charges of possession of an altered handgun, resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor charges of possessing a look-alike substance and possession of paraphernalia.

Police shot Ross six times during the late night incident, according to statements given Tuesday during the sentencing hearing.

On Tuesday morning, Indiana State Police Detective Don Curtis testified he had spoken to a friend of Ross during his investigation of the shooting involving the THPD officers. In that interview, the friend said Ross had previously claimed he would shoot police rather than return to prison, Curtis testified.

A brief segment of that recorded interview between Curtis and Richard Carter was played during the hearing.

Judge Sarah Mullican also heard from defense witness Emily Ross, who has been married to the defendant for six years. The couple has two toddler children together.

Emily Ross said she thinks the root of her husband’s problems are untreated mental health and addiction issues.

She said her husband was an “amazing” father to their children, and he has changed since his arrest in August 2020.

“I by no means am trying to make him out to be an angel,” she said, later adding, “Please don’t send him to prison to die.”

Prosecutor Roberts questioned her about Jeremy Ross' drug use, mental health and his repeated possession of firearms despite his status as a violent felon.

Roberts also presented information showing Jeremy Ross has been “sexting” on jail-provided electronic devices with women other than his wife while in the Vigo County Jail since his arrest.

Emily Ross also admitted her husband had been on “benders” when he would use drugs and not be home for days at a time, and she said she knew he was with other women during some of those times.

During the hearing, Jeremy Ross said he had been diagnosed as bipolar in the past and that he has used drugs since age 16.

He said getting shot six times caused him to change, and he knows now he should never had bought the two guns he had the night he was arrested.

Ross asked Mullican for leniency.

“I didn’t try to kill those officers that night. I didn’t intend to hurt anybody that night,” he said.

Roberts pointed out Ross has been in prison four times, has a history of violent offenses, and has a 20-year prison sentence waiting in Minnesota. He also has a criminal conviction in Tennessee.

Mullican found that Ross’s “extensive criminal history” was an aggravating factor in sentencing, as was his violation of parole and probation in Minnesota. She found his mental health condition to be a mitigating factor.

She also noted Ross has had success with treatment programs in prison, but returned to criminal behavior when released.

“You are the captain of your own ship,” Mullican said to Ross. “If you choose to change, you will do that.”

She ordered Ross to serve 35 years on the attempted murder conviction, with no time suspended. She also ordered the sentence enhanced by 10 years due to his habitual offender status, for a total of 45 years in prison.

She ordered he serve concurrent sentences of five years on possession of the altered handgun and and misdemeanor charges.

Ross said he will appeal the sentence.

Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.

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Lisa Trigg has been a reporter at the Tribune-Star since 2009. With more than 30 years of newspaper experience, she now covers general news with a focus on crime and courts.