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Thread: Appeals court upholds dismissal of gun charges against student

  1. #1
    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/7...n-charges.html

    Appeals court upholds dismissal of gun charges against student

    By Sara Israelsen-Hartley
    Deseret News

    Published: Friday, Sept. 25, 2009 4:38 p.m. MDT



    PROVO — An Ethiopian native who purchased three AK-47s filled out background-check papers sufficiently, even though he provided the wrong number twice, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled.

    The court's recent ruling upholds a 4th District Court decision in which Judge Gary Stott tossed out gun charges against Kidus Chane Yohannes.

    Yohannes was arrested in June 2007 while he was a student at what was then Utah Valley State College — just months after a student had massacred 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus. Yohannes' Orem roommates had called police, saying they were concerned about his stockpile of weapons, his interest in violent video games and his threats against police officers and the military.

    Prosecutors later charged Yohannes with giving false information in order to purchase several of those guns.

    However, Stott ruled that providing a false alien number on a background form shouldn't result in felony charges, because that specific number isn't required under Utah law, although it's asked for on the form.

    An applicant must provide a Social Security number or any other identification number, according to the ruling.

    Yohannes provided that "other identification" through a driver's license, plus the required personal information, and his purchase was approved by the Bureau of Criminal Identification, the Court of Appeals wrote. "Under the plain language of the statute, nothing more is required," the justices wrote.

    So the fact that Yohannes also provided one correct and two incorrect numbers when asked for his alien registration numbers is irrelevant, the courts ruled.

    "It was a good ruling," said defense attorney Richard Gale. "He wasn't trying to deceive anybody about his identity. He put his driver's license number down and his right name, his right address. The way the statute is written, the number he wrote down … they don't need it to do the background check."

    Besides, the two incorrect numbers were also Yohannes', Gale said, they were just different types of identification numbers.

    Prosecutor Chad Grunander acknowledged that the other information Yohannes provided on the form was correct and that it would have been difficult to convince a jury that he intentionally tried to be deceptive with the numbers.

    After the gun charges were dismissed by Stott, Yohannes was convicted by a jury in February 2008 of unlawful possession of a financial-transaction card, due to having one of his roommate's ATM cards, unused, in his car.

    He was sentenced to 120 days in jail with credit for 90 served. Gale has also appealed that conviction for insufficient evidence.

    Yohannes has complied with all of the requirements for his 36-month probation period and will be in court Oct. 1 to ask that he be successfully taken off probation, Gale said.

    As a lawful permanent resident, Yohannes' immigration status won't be officially reviewed until after the second appeal is completed, Gale said.

    e-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com


    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

  2. #2
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    It is great that THIS former UVU student has now been cleared in this incident; BUT, the FFL that he made the purchase from was charged in FEDERAL COURT for selling the gun too him in violation of federal law then when the FED's determined that STATE law had a harsher penalty for this ALLEGED VIOLATION they dropped the federal charges so the STATE could pursue their own charges against him. And the feds have refused to renew his FFL, just giving him "extensions" until a final resolution. I have heard from others (no personal knowledge) that the FED have agreed to LET him sell current stock but NOT replentish so that when he runs out he is out of business!

    Last time I was in this FFL's place of business he was selling the shelving! He has always treated me fairly and had great prices on product. Hate to see him go....


    I am frustrated for this FFL's experience in this situation.

    Just had a vent a little....
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
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    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

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    JoeSparky wrote:
    It is great that THIS former UVU student has now been cleared in this incident; BUT, the FFL that he made the purchase from was charged in FEDERAL COURT for selling the gun too him in violation of federal law then when the FED's determined that STATE law had a harsher penalty for this ALLEGED VIOLATION they dropped the federal charges so the STATE could pursue their own charges against him. And the feds have refused to renew his FFL, just giving him "extensions" until a final resolution. I have heard from others (no personal knowledge) that the FED have agreed to LET him sell current stock but NOT replentish so that when he runs out he is out of business!
    Is that Van Wagenen? If that's true, maybe I'll have to go buy a gun from him today.

    I thought his legal troubles were just trumped up clerical errors from before this case.

  4. #4
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    I understand hislegal issueswere ALL RESULTING FROM THIS INCIDENT!!!!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
    If one is not willing to stand for his rights, he doesn't have any Rights.
    I will strive to stand for the rights of ANY person, even those folks with whom I disagree!
    As said by SVG--- "I am not anti-COP, I am PRO-Citizen" and I'll add, PRO-Constitution.
    If the above makes me a RADICAL or EXTREME--- So be it!

    Life Member NRA
    Life Member GOA
    2nd amendment says.... "...The right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!"

  5. #5
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    This (and the radio coverage I heard at the time) made me think that there was more than just the Yohannes incident.

    I bought a revolver for my wife there, I think the day after the reduction to misdemeanor.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Van Wagenens is the FFL? Dang, I like that gun store.

  7. #7
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    whoaaaa... all i can say is, "I'm proud to be an American!" lol :P

    yeah.

    i went there.





    p.s. canada sucks.

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