Man acquitted in 2016 death of Hoover Iraq vet sentenced to 20 years for rape


Charleston Wells

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Bessemer man who was once acquitted in the murder of a Hoover Iraq War veteran is now being re-sentenced after court documents say he violated the terms of a lesser sentence.

Charleston Wells, now 21, is being re-sentenced for an investigation that dates back to 2017 when he was 18 years old. According to court documents, Wells pleaded guilty to first-degree rape on June 23.

Initially, Jefferson County Circuit Judge David Carpenter sentenced Wells to prison for 20 years with five years to serve. However, while being held at the Jefferson County Jail, Wells assaulted another inmate on July 12. Therefore, the sentence was revoked.

During the July incident, court records state Wells punched and kicked another inmate in the face and upper torso while he was lying on the floor. He was later charged with third-degree assault for the incident. Because of this, prosecutors say he violated the terms of his split sentence. Assistant District Attorney Hollye Farmer requested the split sentence be revoked and his full sentence imposed.

In 2017, the jury acquitted Wells of the murder charge in the death of Hoover father and Iraq war veteran Mike Gilotti. Gilotti was shot and killed in front of his home in Hoover’s Lake Cyrus community in January 2016, while Wells and his friends, admittedly, were breaking into cars.

After Wells was acquitted, Assistant District Attorney Lane Tolbert maintained, “Charleston Wells killed Mike Gilotti.” Tolbert continued saying a jury’s verdict doesn’t change the facts. Wells was still found guilty on nine charges of unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle.

Of the four teens accused in the murder, Tolbert upheld that Wells was the one who pulled the trigger.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.