United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. Faber Senior United States District Judge
Charleston, on May 20, 2019, came the defendant Benjamin Lee
Parsons, in person and by counsel, John A. Carr, Esquire, and
came the United States by Joshua C. Hanks, Assistant United
States Attorney, for the purpose of considering the
defendant's plea of guilty to the Information charging
him with possession of a firearm by a person who has been
committed to a mental institution, in violation of Title 18,
United States Code, Sections 922(g)(4) and 924(a)(2). Matthew
Lambert, Probation Officer, appeared on behalf of the United
States Probation Department.
court inquired of the defendant, addressing him personally
and by counsel, to determine the competency of the defendant
to proceed. The court found the defendant competent.
Assistant United States Attorney then offered for the
court's consideration and summarized the entirety of a
written plea agreement signed by both the defendant and his
counsel, which signatures the defendant and his counsel
acknowledged in court.
court informed the defendant of the maximum penalties to
which he will be exposed by virtue of his plea of guilty and
defendant acknowledged his understanding of the same.
court next inquired as to the defendant's plea and the
defendant responded that he intended to plead guilty. The
court explained the range of penalties to which the defendant
would be exposed by virtue of his guilty plea. The court also
explained the statutes under which this action is prosecuted
and the elements which the United States would have had to
prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, had the matter been tried.
The Assistant United States Attorney then stated the factual
basis establishing that the defendant committed the offense
to which he was pleading guilty. The defendant admitted that
the factual basis as stated was substantially true.
court informed the defendant of his right to be prosecuted by
indictment pursuant to Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of
Criminal Procedure. Having been informed of this right, the
defendant signed a waiver of his right to prosecution by
indictment, which signature he acknowledged in open court.
court further informed the defendant, pursuant to the
requirements of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure, of the constitutional and other rights he would
waive by pleading guilty to the Information. The court then
determined that the defendant understood those rights. The
court advised the defendant that he could not withdraw his
plea if he was dissatisfied with the sentence rendered.
court inquired of the defendant personally as to whether any
threats or promises had been made to him to induce him to
plead, whether any predictions were made regarding the
sentence he might receive, and whether he had any second
thoughts about entering a plea of guilty, to which questions
the defendant responded in the negative.
upon the defendant's plea of guilty, as well as his
factual admission of guilt, the court found that there
existed a factual and legal basis for the defendant's
plea of guilty. Based upon the United States' proffer of
evidence against the defendant, the court found that there
also existed an independent factual basis for the
defendant's plea of guilty. The court further found that
the defendant tendered his plea of guilty voluntarily and
with a full understanding and awareness of the constitutional
and other rights which he gives up by pleading guilty, and
with an awareness of what the United States would have to
prove against him if the case went to trial. The court
further found that the defendant had an appreciation of the
consequences of his plea and accepted the defendant's
plea of guilty.
to Sentencing Guideline § 6B1.1(c), the court deferred
acceptance of the plea agreement and an adjudication of guilt
pending receipt of the presentence investigation report.
Accordingly, the court adjudges and the defendant now stands
provisionally guilty of the Information.
court scheduled the disposition of this matter for August 27,
2019, at 10:30 a.m., in Charleston. The Probation Department
is directed to conduct a presentence investigation in this
matter and to provide a report to this court. Unless
otherwise directed by this court, the probation officer is
not to disclose the officer's sentencing recommendation
to anyone except the court.
defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States
Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion
and Order to counsel of record, the United States Marshal for
the Southern District of West ...