Gambler sentenced to 60 years in prison

Officials say 25-year-old fired shots after losing $600 while gambling


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 25-year-old man was sentenced this week to a total of 60 years in prison after officials say he fired shots after losing $600 while gambling.

State attorneys said Joseph Neal was convicted last month on two counts of armed robbery, one count of aggravated assault and one count of shooting or throwing deadly missiles.

In June 2009, Neal was pitching quarters with two of his friends at a home. Officials said Neal lost about $600, all of the money he brought to gamble.

Upset over his loss, authorities said Neal left the area and then came back armed with a revolver.

Officials said Neal pointed the gun at his two friends and then fired into the vehicle of another victim who stopped by to visit.

All of the victims then gave Neal their money. Officials said Neal fired an additional two rounds into the house right above where the victims were standing.

Neal then fled the crime scene and was later captured by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Attorneys said Neal has been designated a habitual violent felony offender.