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Avoiding Death Penalty, Flagler Beach’s Bobby Gore Pleads to Manslaughter in Killing of His Son

| October 11, 2017

Bobby Earl Gore, right, in court in August, with his attorney, Ray Warren. (© FlaglerLive)

Bobby Earl Gore, right, in court in August, with his attorney, Ray Warren. (© FlaglerLive)

Two weeks after he shot his son at point-blank range on the porch of the family home in Flagler Beach, Bobby Earl Gore, 74, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge, a capital felony that exposed him to the death penalty. He initially pleased not guilty.

On Tuesday, Gore changed his plea to no contest–essentially, a guilty plea that legally avoids an admission of guilt, but has the same effect as a guilty plea. He did so as part of a plea deal that reduces the charge to a manslaughter with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony.

The death penalty is off the table. The certainty of prison is not. Gore is to be sentenced by Circuit Judge Dennis Craig at 9 a.m. Dec. 11. He faces between eight to 15 years in prison. Given Gore’s age, the sentence may be the equivalent of a life sentence regardless where it falls, making the absence of probation once the sentence has been served all but irrelevant.

Gore is represented by Ray Warren, a public defender. Gore may have had little option but to take a plea. The night of the killing, Lucas Gore, 31, had been arguing with his mother, Bonnie Jeanne, 57, on the back porch of the family home on South Daytona Avenue in Flagler Beach. Bobby Gore approached his son from the house, from the back, and fired two bullets at his son’s head. Bonnie Jeanne described the killing to police, a witness statement Gore would have had difficulty overcoming at trial whatever the circumstances that led to shooting his unarmed son from the back. The shooting was also heard, but not witnessed, by Lucas’s brother Matthew, who had opted to leave the house because of the argument and was in the front porch when he heard the shots ring out.

The sentencing hearing is likely to feature some of the evidence that would have been produced had there been a trial, but also the likelihood of statements from Gore’s family or friends, in an attempt to minimize the sentence. Judges in similar situations are not unswayed by such testimony, but in Flagler County in the last many years, no judge has gone so low as to sentence a defendant to the lowest number of years in the range, more often opting for a mid-range between the minimum and maximum.

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7 Responses for “Avoiding Death Penalty, Flagler Beach’s Bobby Gore Pleads to Manslaughter in Killing of His Son”

  1. Veteran says:

    He’s getting off easy.

  2. Jaackass says:

    I’m sorry but this man deserves everything that is coming his way. Karmas a bitch. Killing someone is never the answer to anything and then his family wants to minimize his sentencing absolutely sicking. Luke deserves justice for such a POS.
    RIP lucas

  3. says:

    Dont mess with momma!! Lesson learned?

  4. Anonymous says:

    this man is a lunatic-see ya later asshole.

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow who are you people to judge, yes this was a awful thing that happened, but do you know this family’s story, do you know the things like did in the past to this man and his mother, NO YOU DONT!!!! SO BEFORE YOU KNOW THE WHOLE STORY DONT BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE AND CALL THIS MAN ANYTHING! He is a loving father, good husband and a friend to many people .. I think living with knowing what he did is a lifetime of punishment that any one person would hate to carry everyday

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    Takes a big man to shoot someone in the back of the head.

    @ Amanda he’s a murderer plain and simple. A loving, caring father doesn’t cold bloodily kill someone. People need to stop making excuses unless it’s clearly self defense.

    I get tired of seeing violent crimes getting plead down. If you commit a violent crime. Especially Murder then there should be NO OPTION to plea it down. He murdered his son and there is no changing that.

    Instead of getting the full justice he deserves he will now get off easy. Meanwhile his son is dead and the family has to deal with that forever.

    Once again I ask when will people stop feeling sorry for perps and start feeling sorry for the victims? Mr. Gore chose to arm himself and execute his son.

    He SHOULD have to face full consequences but I bet he gets probation and house arrest. We can only hope the judge opts for a hefty sentence.

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