Volusia County

Legal analyst shares insight after woman shoots husband at Daytona Beach hospital

DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. — A woman who shot and killed her terminally ill husband is currently being held at the Volusia County Corrections, Daytona Beach police said Sunday.


The shooting happened around 1 p.m. Saturday at Advent Health Daytona Beach.

Investigators said Ellen Gilland made plans with the victim three weeks ago to “end it,” if his health worsened.

Read: Legal analyst shares insight after woman shoots husband at Daytona Beach hospital

Police said Gilland barricaded herself in her husband Jerry’s hospital room after the pre-planned shooting.

That led to police evacuating staff and patients, including terminally ill patients, from the 11th floor. Police Chief Jakari Young said this had turned into a hectic situation.

“This was somewhat of a logistical nightmare,” he said.

Channel 9 spoke to legal analyst Bill Sheaffer, who gave insight into the crime.

“There is no state in this United States of America that has approved or condoned assisted suicide,” he said.

Sheaffer said she would have to be charged in some form because of that fact. But in this case, he predicts she will get a plea deal and probation instead of incarceration.

Read: Woman accused of shooting husband at Daytona Beach hospital held without bond

“Her age and the fact that it was her husband who was dying will play a large role in the factors of mitigation and sentencing,” Sheaffer said.

Police had flooded the parking lots and filled the hospital’s halls as they worked to get Gilland to surrender.

Daytona Beach police later learned Gilland and her husband decided they would both die at the hospital that day, but Gilland didn’t follow through.

Read: Woman in custody after shooting terminally ill husband at Daytona Beach hospital, police say

Police said after Gilland shot her husband, she would not drop the gun and shut herself in his room, which forced hospital staff to have shelter in place, and several patients had to be removed from their rooms.

Sheaffer said while it’s not likely, Gilland could also be charged with those crimes.

“She can face aggravated assault for anyone that she pointed the gun at. There are charges related to shutting down those facilities,” Sheaffer said. “There’s a myriad of charges she could face, but obviously, the most severe charge she could face is the murder charge because it would carry the heaviest sentence.”

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Gilland is being held on that murder charge without bond. Shaeffer said this is standard for that offense, and the state could consider a bond at some point.

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