A Blairs Mills area man will spend four to eight years in state prison on a firearms violation.
Darrell Fleming, 54, entered a plea Friday morning to one count of felony 2 possession of a firearm when he was barred from using or owning guns due to a prior felony conviction. He was originally scheduled to stand trial Friday on two counts of the possession offense and participated in jury selection Sept. 9.
Fleming’s sentence is effective Dec. 13, 2018, the date he was taken into custody. In addition to incarceration, Huntingdon County President Judge George Zanic ordered Fleming to reimburse the county for the cost of assembling the jury.
Huntingdon County District Attorney David Smith said he’s satisfied with the outcome, noting the sentence falls within guidelines and the defendant likely faces additional penalty for state parole violations.
“This is not going to be a slap on the wrist,” Smith said. “With our sentence and the state parole hit, we believe he’s going to serve a significant amount of time in jail.”
Fleming, represented by attorney Christopher Wencker, is not allowed to possess firearms due to a prior felony 1 robbery conviction and is on state parole through July 2042.
According to the affidavit filed by state police at Huntingdon, a state parole officer stopped by Fleming’s Tell Township home Dec. 13, 2018, for a routine visit and found three rifles in a closet.
When Fleming arrived home, an additional firearm was found in his vehicle, police say.
“We believe we had a solid case,” Smith said.
Smith said he also feels the agreement is appropriate considering what he believes were Fleming’s intentions with the rifles.
“From our perspective, we believe he wanted to hunt and had the firearms for that purpose,” Smith said. “We don’t necessarily believe the firearms were going to be used in robberies or things of that nature.”
Smith said if Fleming had opted to proceed with trial and if jurors found him guilty, he would have been exposed to a maximum sentence of five to 10 years in prison per count, or a total of 10 to 20 years.
Fleming’s robbery conviction date back to 1990 in Franklin County when he was 25 years old. He was sentenced to 63 to 240 months in state prison.
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