FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - January 29, 2009
WILSON FELON SENTENCED TO MAXIMUM TERM OF IMPRISONMENT
FOR POSSESSING A FIREARM
WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court on January 21, 2009, Senior United States District Judge James C. Fox sentenced WILLIE TERRENCE BATTS, 29, of Wilson, North Carolina, to 120 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on May 7, 2008. On October 15, 2008, a jury found BATTS guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On March 6, 2008, officers with the Wilson Police Department responded to a shots fired call in the area known in the community as Grant’s Carwash, a place frequented by drug dealers. The officers arrived and began questioning persons in the area. Receiving information that no shots had been fired, the officers prepared to clear the call.
At that time, one of the officers looked over his shoulder and saw BATTS walking out of the door of Grant’s Carwash, seeing the silhouette of what appeared to be a revolver. The other officer watched BATTS walk toward an adjacent establishment, breaking into a run to the rear of the two businesses. The officer noticed BATTS had a gun in his right hand.
The officers chased BATTS and observed BATTS making a throwing motion in the direction of a chain link fence. BATTS was captured soon thereafter.
A search of the scene for the firearm commenced and a loaded Comanchee III .357 revolver was located approximately ten yards from the opposite side of the chain link fence.
Mr. Holding commented, “This case reminds us of the uncertainty and danger law enforcement face every day. I commend these officers for their important work.”
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Wilson Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney William Gilmore served as prosecutor for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.