Jared Gurman, 28, was sentenced Thursday to 3 1/2 years in state prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of first-degree attempted assault in connection with the December 2012 shooting.
Police said Gurman and his girlfriend, Jessica Gelderman, were in a heated exchange at his house about whether there could be a real-life zombie apocalypse, similar to the one portrayed in ‘The Walking Dead,’ a television thriller about zombies in a post-apocalyptic world.
“It’s something that he felt can possibly happen,” Det. Lt. Ray Cote said at a police news conference after the shooting. “She said that’s ridiculous.”
The argument continued until Gelderman left, but cops said Gurman continued to send her text messages that became angrier and bitter. “It came to a point where she felt that she needed to look after him and perhaps he was going over the edge,” Cote said.
When Gelderman returned to her boyfriend’s Williston Park home, Gurman was standing outside with a .22 caliber assault rifle and shot her in the back as she walked up the stairs, police said.
Detectives said she was left losing blood and pleading with him to call for help until Gurman finally drove her to the hospital where he was arrested. Gelderman suffered a pierced lung, shattered rib and pierced diaphragm.
Appearing in court Thursday, Gelderman asked Nassau County Judge Christopher Quinn for permission to deliver a victim impact statement. “I just want our lives to go back to the way they were,” she said. “He would never ever hurt me…I just want things to go back to the way they were.” She declined comment after the court proceeding.
Gurman’s lawyer, Edward Lieberman, said his client hopes the couple will be able to be “reunited.” The defense attorney asked the court to lessen the restrictions on a protection order, which would allow her to visit him in prison.
“My client found himself in a situation he now thoroughly regrets and that he’ll live with for the rest of his life,” Lieberman said in court. “He can’t deny that it did occur. I do know in his heart he’d never want to do anything that disrupts his love of Jessica.”
Before he was led away in handcuffs, Gurman said, “I’d like to say I’m sorry for everything that happened that night.”