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Goodwin Calls Recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Decisions Upholding Firearms Convictions Involving Domestic Violence Offenders ‘Vital’

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin today honored federal and local law enforcement agencies and domestic violence awareness advocates during an awards presentation at the Charleston Marriott Hotel for their collaborative work involving three domestic violence cases in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Law enforcement efforts lead to two recent federal appellate decisions issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding firearms convictions in the Southern District of West Virginia.

These decisions validate the important role that the federal domestic violence laws play in prosecuting dangerous individuals.  The appellate decisions were made in United States v. Mark A. Staten and United States v. Ronald Mark Chapman.  A third decision in a similar matter, United States v. William Samuel Chester currently awaits ruling in federal district court.  

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin stated, “These very important cases underscore the importance of federal, state and local law enforcement working together to better protect our communities and its citizens.  The appellate decisions are vital and will go a long way in helping to protect domestic violence victims not just here in West Virginia, but across the country.”

Goodwin continued, “Individuals who are subject to a qualifying protective order are prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.  Likewise, individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence are forever prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.  People who chose to violate these laws will face federal prosecution.”   

Also during Wednesday’s awards ceremony, Goodwin commended members of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence for their efforts in promoting awareness, education, and prevention of domestic violence.

The following agencies were presented with a U.S. Attorney's Award for Distinguished Service:

  • Milton Police Department
  • St. Albans Police Department
  • Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office
  • Cabell County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
  • West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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