Murder Suspect Caught During a Vehicle Search

Murder Suspect Caught During a Vehicle SearchAs a Louisville criminal defense attorney, I’ve advised clients for nearly thirty (30) years that the long arm of the law can grab you when you least expect it.  A murder suspect was caught during a vehicle search.  The man was actually wanted for murder in Arkansas.  The car was initially being searched because officers notice the strong smell of pot coming from the vehicle.  The man wanted for murder was a passenger in the car at the time.

News reports indicate the police found a handgun during the search.  The man admitted that the gun belonged to him.  To make matters worse, the same man is a convicted felon.

Can a Felon Possess a Firearm He/She Doesn’t Own?

Under Kentucky law, felons are prohibited by law from possessing, manufacturing or transporting firearms.  It doesn’t matter in which state the conviction occurred.  This is a Class D felony.  However, if the firearm is a handgun, the charge is increased to a Class C felony.

Are there Exceptions to this Law?

There are two common ways someone convicted of a felony can possess a firearm:

  • After receiving a full pardon by the Governor or President
  • If the Secretary of the Treasury authorizes it according to the 1968 Federal Gun Control Act

As you might imagine, both of these exceptions are rare.

For the murder suspect caught during a vehicle search, he made a very common mistake.  Talking.  He admitted the he had recently purchased the gun.  Why give police this statement?  The admission will make it much more difficult for his defense attorney to fight the charge.

In all reality, the murder charge is going to be the more serious issue, but why compound the issue by making unnecessary statements?  If there’s one thing you remember after reading this article it should be to let your attorney do ALL the talking.