Shot in the head, BA teenager's ordeal not yet over

Thursday, October 19th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Brandy Thurmond is preparing herself for the ordeal of sitting through a second trial for the man who was convicted of shooting her in the head. His actions changed her life forever. An appeals court ruled Jason Filion deserves a new trial, and it has been scheduled just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. Filion's trial is set for November 20th in Tulsa County District Court.

The gunshot wound to Thurmond's head still causes her to have seizures. She's taking eight different medications, meets with a tutor three days a week and struggles with her situation endlessly.

Filion was convicted of shooting Thurmond and has served 18 months of his 10-year sentence. He'll probably see parole in six years. "Whether it's six years or 18 months, he'll get out and go on with his life,” said Thurmond’s father Craig. “She will never be right. She'll probably never be able to get a job or do the things normal teenagers do, because he chose to shoot her in the head."

A jury found Filion innocent of shooting with intent to kill, but guilty of felony assault and battery. An appeals court said the jury should've also had the option of choosing a misdemeanor charge. “They can find him guilty of misdemeanor reckless endangerment, and he can go out and shoot someone else and it would be his first offense," Thurmond noted.

Filion received the maximum sentence at his first trial. If he’s convicted of a misdemeanor at the new trial or is found not guilty, he would be a free man. "Brandy wants to move out of state,” Thurmond said. “If he gets out, she wants to leave, because she's afraid he'll shoot her again. I'm afraid he'll shoot somebody, because he'll feel he's gotten away with it."

Thurmond is afraid a trial so close to the Thanksgiving holiday will put jurors in a rush, and he's upset that District Attorney Tim Harris may not be able to personally prosecute the case again at the second trial, because of two murder cases on the docket. He says anyone who believes the justice system works the way our forefathers promised would be sadly disappointed.