United States Attorney Beth Drake has announced Michael Jones, age 58, formerly of Irmo, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Columbia, to being a felon in possession of a firearm, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis of Columbia accepted the guilty plea and will impose sentence after she has reviewed the presentence report, which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established on July 8, 2015 at around 1 am in the morning, the Irmo Police Department responded to a domestic dispute in Irmo. Upon arriving at the scene, a woman informed the officers that her husband, Michael Jones, the defendant, was trying to cut her grandson. The younger male, who was standing on the front stoop of the house, informed the officers his grandfather was trying to cut him with a piece of glass. They told the officers the defendant was in the back bedroom. Through the open front door, the officers repeatedly asked Jones to come outside, to which there was no response. The officers entered the home through a side door. They saw a closed doorway at the end of the hallway. Again, the officers repeatedly asked Jones to come out of the room, which Jones refused.
Other officers arrived and Jones partially opened the door with the left side of his body still concealed by the door. From his position, one officer was able to see that Jones had a rifle with a brown stock and a black barrel in his hand, with his finger on the trigger guard. The officer deployed his Taser hitting Jones who fell to the floor, but was able to stand up and pointed the gun at the officers. The officers fired their weapons and Jones was struck multiple times.
Upon entering the room, the officers located a .22 caliber Remington rifle loaded with .22 caliber ammunition lying next to Jones. At the time of this incident, Jones had been previously convicted of 2 counts of common law robbery, which prevented him from possessing a firearm.
Drake said the maximum penalty for this offense is imprisonment for 10 years and/or a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Irmo Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney William K. Witherspoon of the Columbia is prosecuting the case.
This case was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project CeaseFire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases.