Gaskill appeal denied, kidnapping rape conviction upheld
After an appeal claiming insanity by the attorney of Justin Todd Gaskill, 31, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld his conviction for the 2008 kidnapping and rape of an 11-year-old girl in Farwell.
Gaskill was found guilty in a Gladwin County Court and is serving a 35 to 60 sentence at the Newberry Correctional Facility. He was tried in Gladwin County after a jury could not be seated in Clare County resulting in a mistrial.
He was found guilty of felonious assault, kidnapping and two counts of rape.
Gaskill reportedly broke into the youngster’s home and kidnapped her using a knife. He took her to a location about two miles away and held her there overnight. She was able to escape the next day and make her way home, later identifying Gaskill as her abductor.
In his appeal Gaskill claimed a voice named “Jim” committed the offences or made him commit them.
In their opinion, Michigan Court of Appeals Judges Jane E. Markey, Jane M. Beckering and Michael J. Kelly said Gaskill did not identify any error in the appeal, and that evidence did not indicate he was insane at the time of the kidnapping and rape. “There was strong evidence in the record that defendant did not have a meritorious insanity defense,” the opinion said. There was evidence that Gaskill acted “deliberately and with an appreciation that his actions were wrongful,” the judges wrote.