Ohio man acquitted on federal gun charge

The Herald-Dispatch on October 23, 2012 released the following:

“CURTIS JOHNSON
The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — A federal jury has acquitted a Columbus, Ohio, man on an allegation that he illegally possessed a firearm.

The jury disagreed with federal prosecutors, who argued Deshawn King had possession of a .357 caliber pistol, even though authorities found the weapon in a woman’s apartment at a time when King was outside of the residence.

Jurors returned their verdict Friday after two and half hours of deliberation. The case had stemmed from a June 20 incident in the 900 block of 11th Avenue.

King had been prohibited from possessing any firearm due to a May 30, 2002, conviction for aggravated robbery in Franklin County, Ohio.

Defense attorney R. Lee Booten and his client were relieved by the jury’s verdict. The attorney described the case as complicated. It was never a matter of King having the gun in his hands, pocket or personal residence, but instead it being stored inside someone else’s apartment that he had access to.

Booten praised U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers for his use of prior case law to fairly instruct the jury as to the complexities of the case.

A criminal complaint, filed at the beginning of the case, alleged that King admitted to having purchased the pistol in Columbus. Booten said that statement was part of the prosecution’s case, however he argued King made up that story as he went along.

Prior to last week’s trial, federal prosecutors had dismissed another count of the indictment. It alleged King had possessed a ,22 caliber pistol, a .45 caliber pistol and a 9 mm pistol Dec. 9, 2011, in Huntington. That dismissal was upon Chambers deciding some of King’s statements to police were inadmissible at trial, according to court documents.

Despite Friday’s acquittal, King remained in custody Monday morning at the Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Ky.

The continued incarceration stems from a probation revocation in the state of Ohio. It involves allegations that King left Ohio without permission to stay with a woman at her 11th Avenue residence in Huntington, Booten said.

Friday’s result marks the second not-guilty verdict in a federal firearms case since August for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Huntington. The first verdict followed defense arguments indicating that defendant, also a prior felon, had possessed his weapon in self-defense.

Booten placed no significance in the two acquittals, instead saying both were the result of rare, atypical and complex firearms cases.

The greatest majority of felon-in-possession cases end with a guilty verdict as defendants typically come to an agreement with prosecutors to avoid trial.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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