By Susana Jurado
FRESNO, C.A. – A three-strikes felon, charged with a recent possession of a loaded gun despite his criminal history, pleaded guilty during his arraignment last Friday here in Fresno County Superior Court, and was sentenced to less than three years in Fresno County Jail.
After the court suggested 32 months, the felon took it and then blessed the judge.
According to the district attorney’s office, on May 27 Jeremy Lee King was caught and charged by authorities with having a loaded gun on his person. He was charged with a felony count because of his previous, prominent strikes and extensive criminal history.
Back in 2004, he received his first strike when he assaulted another person with a firearm. In 2011, he was again charged with an assault on another person with a deadly weapon, giving him his second strike. His last strike occurred in 2018, when he was accused of threatening to kill someone else, even though there was no real recorded action taken.
There was negotiation in the Fresno Superior Courtroom on Friday as the district attorney and defense tried to work together to come up with a deal that would officially resolve the case.
Deputy District Attorney Alex Guillermo informed the judge of an offer made to the defendant before the court, stating, “Mr. King received three strikes in 2004, 2011, and 2018 and based on his most recent felony charge, we are respectively offering a four year lid.”
Judge Jon M. Skiles spoke on the matter, noting, “Well I don’t have the complaint up in front of me at this moment, but the only charge I can see is the felony possession of a firearm with ammunition in it. With what’s being indicated, I could tell you, my likely sentence if it would resolve this case, would be the 32 months state prison.”
The defendant quickly interrupted the discussion, deciding to change his plea from not guilty to guilty saying, “Yes, let’s do it! Thank you, your Honor! I gave my life over to God and everything, man. This is the blessing I was praying for…so thank you, Your Honor.”
Judge Skiles reminded King that the main takeaway he should receive from all of this is that some changes need to be made and said, “With those strikes, there is always the possibility you could get 25 to life, so you gotta be careful.”
When change of plea forms were submitted, Judge Skiles confirmed with King whether this decision was made voluntarily and intelligently.
King responded with an enthusiastic yes.
The judge explained King would give up certain rights, and detailed some of the repercussions that could result with entering the plea, stating, “Now there are certain possible consequences that can result from this plea. Those can include up to six years in custody and a $10,000 fine. There could be a restitution fine anywhere between $300 up to $10,000.”
Assistant Public Defender Megan Wingo, who stood on behalf of King, told the court that she proceeded to claim pursuant to People v. West, meaning the plea was meant to benefit her client by submitting to the bargain but not exactly admit to the charges alleged.
King pleaded guilty to all counts, including his previous strikes tracing back until 2004, and the judge ruled that the next sentencing hearing will be on Sept. 8 at 8:30 in the morning in Fresno Superior Court under his jurisdiction.
King thanked the judge saying, “Thank you, Your Honor. I appreciate it. God bless you.”
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