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Nassau man gets prison for 'zombie' shooting

Jared Gurman, 28, of Williston Park, leaves court

Jared Gurman, 28, of Williston Park, leaves court on Feb. 6, 2014, after receiving a prison term of three-and-a-half years and probation, a sentence that came after his victim's tearful plea to a judge for leniency. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Jared Gurman believes in zombies -- enough to get into a serious argument with his girlfriend on the subject.

But Gurman didn't leave it there. After a heated discussion sparked by the television series, "The Walking Dead," the Williston Park man shot her in the back, and now he's headed to prison.

Gurman, 28, apologized for his actions Thursday before a judge imposed a 31/2-year sentence.

"I'm sorry for everything that's happened," Gurman said in a Mineola courtroom.

Nassau County Court Supervising Judge Christopher Quinn also listened to a tearful plea for leniency from the shooting victim.

"I love him more than anything," said Jessica Gelderman, 28, also from Williston Park. ". . . I just want things to go back to the way they were."

"You know that's not possible," Quinn told her.

Police said Gurman fired a single round from a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle into Gelderman's back during the December 2012 incident. It pierced Gelderman's diaphragm and a lung, shattering ribs, police said at the time.

The AMC show the couple was arguing about features zombies in a post-apocalyptic world. Gurman believed there could be some type of military mishap that would result in a virus or the spread of another contagion "that could cause terrible things to happen," according to police.

But authorities said Gelderman thought her boyfriend's belief was ridiculous.

Authorities charged Gurman with second-degree attempted murder and other crimes. He pleaded guilty in December to attempted assault in the first degree.

Gurman's lawyer, Edward Lieberman, has said the rifle went off accidentally.

He told the judge Thursday that his client will live with regrets for the rest of his life.

The Garden City attorney said Gurman hopes "to one day be reunited with Jessica."

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement that "brandishing a loaded weapon is never the right choice in an argument," and that the shooting could have been fatal.

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