Juvenile Pleads Guilty to Possession of Firearm, Enters Plea for Less Time in Prison

By Natasha Pawar 

SACRAMENTO, CA – A previously convicted juvenile found to be in possession of a loaded handgun entered a plea here in Sacramento County Superior Court this week to avoid three years of prison—his no contest please will net him 16 months in prison.

On Feb. 2, the minor was found to be in possession of a 9 mm Beretta handgun in his Sacramento apartment. The juvenile, whose name is being left undisclosed for privacy and safety, was a previously convicted felon who had been in possession of a handgun in December 2019. 

He was also found to be in violation of  Health and Safety Code section 11351 on  March 13, 2019. This makes the most recent case his third felony, for which he appeared in court, in violation of Penal Code section 29800(a)(1), for a second time.

The court proceedings started with an immediate closing of the courtroom. As soon as the case was introduced to Judge Helena R. Gweon in Department 9 of the Sacramento Superior Court as a felony plea, she stated that she had not been given a copy of the conditions. 

Upon hearing this, the defense explained that this was a felony plea for state prison, continuing judgment, and sentencing. At this point the court was closed to the public to allow for counsel and Judge Gweon to further discuss the case. 

After a short six minutes, the court was reopened and the livestream started once again.

The court then moved to review the conditions of the plea, as discussed in private. The details of the case were reviewed, specifically noting that in February the defendant was found to willfully and unlawfully be in possession of a loaded handgun. It was found by a probation officer who was present at the defendant’s apartment for a random inspection.

Under his Miranda rights, the defendant admitted to owning the firearm. Deputy District Attorney Rainey Jacobson agreed to a plea, as she believed, “Based on the defendant’s record, [she does] not believe  that the defendant would receive a substantially harsher sentence after a trial.”

The public defender assigned to this case stipulated to these details relayed by Jacobson as being of a factual basis and also stipulated that that court may consider this complaint as factual basis. 

Before entering the plea, the defendant was made aware of the several constitutional rights he was waiving.

The plea involved an agreed upon “16 months of time in state prison also with being under supervision for three years post-release under the Sacramento Probationary Office,” as stated by Judge Gweon. If issues arise after the defendant has served his time, he can be held for up to six months more per violation. 

The defendant was reminded of the maximum sentencing for his plea, which the judge described as “three years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000, a restitution fine of up to $10,000 and potentially being ordered to pay restitution to any victims.”

The defendant now awaits the Sept. 9 sentencing and judgment where his prior probationary status will be revoked and prison sentencing will commence. 

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