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Firearm Seller Knew Buyer Was Felon

Deborah Elkins//January 25, 2017

Firearm Seller Knew Buyer Was Felon

Deborah Elkins//January 25, 2017//

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The Court of Appeals affirms convictions of larceny of a firearm, larceny with intent to sell and selling a firearm to a felon, despite defendant’s claim of insufficient evidence.

The trial court accepted the gun buyer’s testimony that he and defendant had discussed being in prison and that he had told defendant he had served time for robbery.

As a convicted felon himself, defendant would know a felon could not possess a firearm. The trial court drew the reasonable inference that defendant knew the buyer could not possess a firearm.

Defendant also argues there was insufficient evidence to prove he possessed the firearm because the testimony of the original gun owner and the subsequent gun buyer was inconsistent and incredible.

The trial court observed that the original owner “was not the best witness in the world” but provided sufficient evidence that he was with defendant at the time the handgun was stolen from his car.

The court recognized that the gun buyer’s pending charge gave him a reason to testify against defendant, but that fact did not make him incompetent to testify or render his testimony unbelievable.

The record here shows that a rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

Convictions affirmed.

Ridley v. Commonwealth (Bumgardner) No. 0061-16-1, Nov. 29, 2016; Suffolk Cir. Ct. (Sandwich) James L. Grandfield, PD, for appellant; J. Christian Obenshain, AAG, for appellee. VLW 016-7-326(UP), 4 pp.

VLW 016-7-326

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