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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Kanawha County felon caught by homeowner during break-in pleads guilty to federal gun crime

Homeowner confronted defendant in the residence and detained him on the ground until law enforcement arrived

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County man who violated his federal supervised release by breaking into a house and stealing a pistol pleaded guilty today to a gun charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Travis Lee Hudnall, 31, entered his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Hudnall admitted that on June 7, 2016, he broke into a residence in Hansford and stole a computer tablet and a loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson Model SW40C pistol. Hudnall additionally admitted that he stole a chainsaw from the surrounding property. As Hudnall was leaving the residence, the homeowner arrived and confronted Hudnall. Following a struggle, the homeowner detained Hudnall on the ground until law enforcement arrived. Hudnall was prohibited under federal law from possessing any firearm because of two previous felony convictions, one in Kanawha County Circuit Court for daytime entering without breaking and another in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Hudnall faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the gun charge, as well as up to an additional two years for violating his federal supervised release, when he is sentenced on November 21, 2016.

The investigation was conducted by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Rada Herrald is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated September 6, 2016