Judge’s Son Sentenced in Robberies

U.S. District Judge Earl B. Gilliam became a spectator in court Tuesday as he watched his 33-year-old son sentenced to one year in County Jail for robbing two taxicab drivers.

Earl Kenneth Gilliam was also placed on five years’ probation, fined $200 and ordered to repay cabbie John Plough the $66 stolen from him Aug. 10.

San Diego Municipal Judge H. Ronald Domnitz specified that Gilliam be tested for drug use every two weeks, attend drug counseling three times a week and refrain from using public transportation.

The judge said that, if Gilliam violates the terms of his probation, he will go to prison for as long as 10 years. The sentence will be reviewed April 24.


Deputy Dist. Atty. Garrett Randall had suggested a four-year state prison term. He said Gilliam had admitted to robbing the drivers to get money to obtain cocaine.

Gilliam pleaded guilty to robbing Plough and cabdriver Raymond Garcia on Sept. 18. Garcia lost a gold chain that was recovered by police.

Gilliam, who could have received a maximum seven years and four months in prison, apologized to Plough, saying, “You did not deserve to be treated that way.”

He said he had been up all night using drugs before the 8 a.m. holdup.

“I’m really very ashamed of what I’ve done,” Gilliam said. “I know I’m guilty . . . and I have some serious problems emotionally. I have drug problems, depression. One thing I don’t want to do is drugs or alcohol anymore.”

Judge Gilliam was appointed to the federal bench in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and was a Superior Court judge for many years in the 1970s.