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KALAMAZOO MAN CHARGED WITH LEAVING FIREARMS WITH FELON SONS, INCLUDING THE FIREARM USED IN THE KILLING OF A PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2012

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today that Kim Robert Statler, 53, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of aiding and abetting felons in possession of firearms and otherwise disposing of thirteen firearms to convicted felons. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison.

Kim Robert Statler is the father of Kim Robert Statler II and Leonard Daniel Statler. In 2011, Kim Robert Statler II pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms, and was sentenced to 48 months in prison. The factual basis for Kim Robert Statler II’s guilty plea provided that in January of 2011, his father, Kim Robert Statler, went to Florida for an extended trip and left his son, Kim Robert Statler II, in charge of the father’s house on Hays Park Avenue in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The house contained a number of unsecured firearms and a variety of ammunition. Kim Robert Statler II, his fiancé, and their two young children resided in the house while Kim Robert Statler was away. Kim Robert Statler II had previously been convicted of the felony offense of delivery of marijuana, and was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms and ammunition.

In the early morning hours of April 19, 2011, following the fatal shooting of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer Eric Zapata outside the residence by Leonard Daniel Statler, who then took his own life, a search warrant was executed at the residence. Eleven unsecured rifles and shotguns, and a variety of ammunition, were found inside the residence. Two other firearms, including an SKS assault rifle used by Leonard Daniel Statler to shoot Officer Zapata and himself, were found outside the residence. Those firearms had previously been inside the residence.

U.S. Attorney Davis stated this case involves a firearm owner’s legal responsibility not to assist convicted felons in obtaining possession of firearms and ammunition. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Bruha and Sean Maltbie are prosecuting the case.

The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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