Christopher Leighton Hall Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on November 10, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CHRISTOPHER LEIGHTON HALL, a 37-year-old resident of Virginia, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for February 10, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
HALL has numerous felony convictions from Virginia, ranging from 1993 to 2002. At the end of December 2008, HALL pawned a Browning BAR .270 rifle at Western Pawnbrokers in Billings.
Investigators learned the owner of the rifle loaned it to HALL at HALL'S request so they could go elk hunting together. Following the hunt, the owner contacted HALL and tried unsuccessfully to get his rifle back. Later, HALL'S wife contacted the owner and told him the gun was pawned. She helped the owner recover the rifle from the pawnshop. The owner then contacted law enforcement.
HALL faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.