INDIANAPOLIS- James Hoskins, 41, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced to 3 years and ten months in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon.
According to court documents, on June 20, 2022, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers responded to a domestic disturbance call involving a married couple with two children present. When officers arrived, Hoskins identified himself as a felon and stated that there was a firearm in the home that belonged to his wife. Hoskins also told IMPD that the dispute began because his wife would not let him leave the home.
Officers subsequently spoke with Hoskins’ wife. During the conversation, the wife informed officers that Hoskins turned violent after she told him she wanted to end their relationship. She stated that Hoskins smashed her glasses, held her against a mirror, strangled her, struck her multiple times, and took his gun out and cocked it in front of her.
In a follow-up interview, Hoskins admitted to officers that the firearm in the home belonged to him but claimed he did not hurt his wife, she fell and hurt herself. Officers interviewed Hoskins’ wife again and she stated that Hoskins threatened to kill her, confirmed that he possessed the firearm, and told officers where to find Hoskins’ gun. Officers found Hoskins’ 9mm pistol and arrested him. After the he was arrested, Hoskins admitted that he “tussled” with his wife in the bathroom and that he placed his forearm against her collarbone. At Hoskins’ sentencing hearing, the judge found that he illegally possessed the handgun in connection with a domestic violence felony against his wife.
Before his arrest, Hoskins had been convicted of five separate felony offenses, each of which prohibits him from ever owning a firearm under federal law.
“When a domestic abuser has a gun, the cycle of abuse can quickly turn deadly,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Our U.S. Attorney’s Office is prioritizing prosecutions of these criminals because of the extreme danger they pose, especially to those closest to them. Working together with IMPD and ATF, the LEATH initiative will continue to use our law enforcement resources to save the lives of those impacted by domestic violence.”
“Our homes should be the place where we feel most safe in the world. Unfortunately, domestic abusers use violence, and all too often firearms, to threaten and harm those closest to them and the first responders coming to render aid,” stated Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute domestic abusers who possess firearms to ensure our communities are safe from these offenders.”
ATF investigated the case. The sentenced was imposed by U.S. District Judge, Magnus Stinson. Judge Stinson also ordered that Hoskins be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Fugate, who prosecuted this case.
This case was brought as part of the LEATH Initiative (Law Enforcement Action to Halt Domestic Violence), named in honor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call. A partnership among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the IMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the LEATH Initiative focuses federal, state, and local law enforcement resources on domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms.
This case is also part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.