Auburn Man Sentenced for Possessing Firearm after Domestic Violence Conviction
PORTLAND, Maine: An Auburn man was sentenced today in federal court in Portland for possessing a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced.
U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Willie Richard Minor, 59, to time served (two years, eight months and 10 days) and three years of supervised release. Minor was convicted following a two-day jury trial in February 2020.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, in June 2010, Minor was convicted of Assault in Maine Superior Court. The victim of the assault was his wife at the time. As a result of that conviction, Minor was prohibited from possessing firearms. In November 2016, Minor admitted to having a gun in an interview with the Auburn Police Department. The police subsequently recovered the gun he had described.
Minor was originally convicted and sentenced on the federal charge after a trial in December 2017. While the case was pending on appeal, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision, Rehaif v. United States, that changed what the government is required to prove in certain federal firearm possession cases. As a result, the parties agreed to have the original conviction vacated, and the case was remanded for a new trial. At the second trial, the government was required to prove not only that Minor had been convicted of assaulting his wife, but also that he knew he had been so convicted and was aware of certain details of the conviction.
The Auburn Police Department, the Mechanic Falls Police Department, the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case.