Jeff Gillooly Graduates from Prison Boot Camp
HAUSER, Ore. (AP) _ Jeff Gillooly drove away from prison Monday with a new name, a new girlfriend and a new attitude after finishing his sentence for the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.
Sentenced to two years in prison for racketeering, Tonya Harding’s former husband served six months, then went to a prison boot camp.
Gillooly changed his name last week to Jeff Stone, but that went unobserved at the graduation ceremony at Shutter Creek Correctional Institution.
``He’s Gillooly to us,″ prison Superintendent Bill Beers said.
Gillooly and the other 41 inmates in the Third Platoom listened to speeches from prison officials and some of their fellow inmates before Beers gave them his final order: ``You are dismissed.″
At the completion of the program, Gillooly and a girlfriend, who didn’t give her name, ducked through a side door to a holding cell area, where he changed from his prison uniform into a white T-shirt and black jeans.
Gillooly told reporters his freedom ``feels absolutely wonderful.″
Asked if he was a changed person, he replied, ``Absolutely.″
Before driving out the prison gate in a new green pickup, Gillooly got a hug from inmate counselor Noel Parker, who said Gillooly had taken responsibility for his crime and was a better person than when he arrived.
``He became aware of things about himself that he didn’t know before and I have every faith that he will be a success,″ Parker said.
Gillooly pleaded guilty to racketeering for helping to plan the attack that knocked Kerrigan out of the 1994 National Figure Skating Championships.
The attack was supposed to make way for Harding to go to the Olympics and win a gold medal, while generating business for a new bodyguard and security service for figure skaters.
Instead, Kerrigan recovered and won the Olympic silver medal, and Harding is remembered best for crying while pleading with judges for a chance to re-lace her skates.
Gillooly and three others who planned or took part in the attack went to prison. Harding admitted helping cover up the crime was ordered to perform community service. She also was stripped of her national figure skating title.
Gillooly was to report Tuesday to his parole officer in the Portland area, where he must find a job and continue with classes so he won’t go back to prison.