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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Man sentenced to 10 years for 2022 killing near Maple Street Bridge

Jeremy Gauthier is shown in this 2018 photo. The 33-year-old was killed last March.  (Courtesy of the Gauthier Family)

Jeremy Gauthier’s family watched though tears as Charles Jackson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Thursday for killing Gauthier in March 2022.

They told Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese that they wanted the maximum sentence for Jackson because he “is a habitual offender.”

“My brother will never be there to watch his son grow up,” Gauthier’s sister Daphne Brook said during her impact statement.

Brook said she has constant nightmares and wakes up with the sound of a gun ringing in her ears, singed with guilt because she wasn’t there to protect him.

“I just don’t want another person to have to lose their son, brother or first friend,” she said.

Gauthier, nicknamed “Dreamer,” was camping out on a pedestrian bridge south of the Maple Street Bridge on March 7, 2022. Jackson, 49, came up and picked a fight while looking for someone else. The two got in an argument over a woman, and Jackson shot and killed Gauthier, court documents said. Jackson pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Oct. 10, canceling his upcoming trial.

The defense said during sentencing that Jackson was merely protecting a woman Gauthier was harassing, because he “was known to be aggressive to prostitutes.” But Gauthier’s family said after the sentencing that wasn’t the Jeremy they knew – he was sober, working to help others and was always kind, they told the Spokesman-Review in court.

Jeremy Gauthier’s brother, Michael Gauthier, drove from Montana with the rest of his relatives to be in Spokane for the sentencing. He told Plese he struggles to go to work every day. He said he can barely sleep.

“There are no words I can articulate to describe the feelings,” Michael Gauthier said. “Some days I can’t control my anger.”

It’s too unbearable to be around people, Michael Gauthier said, even his family – because he knows exactly what his brother is missing out on. Holidays, birthdays and graduations are milestones Jeremy Gauthier won’t see again.

Jackson showed little emotion as they spoke, but suddenly stood to speak to Jeremy Gauthier’s siblings and mother, who were all hugging each other in tears.

“I want to apologize to the family,” Jackson said briefly. “I was protecting someone from a guy that was being disrespectful.”

After Plese sentenced Jackson to 10 years with an additional 7.5 years for a firearm charge, she told the family that she “couldn’t even imagine” losing a sibling.

“I do know some people don’t like plea agreements, but it saves the heartache at trial,” Plese said.

Jackson’s sentences will run concurrently.