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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Exclusive — Shock verdict — Mark Witaschek guilty of possessing muzzleloader bullets in D.C. -- … while NBC’s David Gregory got off scot free -- By Emily Miller, The Washington Times

Mark Witaschek holds his Knight Revolution .50 caliber muzzleloader. This is a 2005 model that is based on the centuries-old technology. In a surprising twist at the end of a long trial, a District of Columbia judge found Mark Witaschek guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” for antique replica muzzleloader bullets.

Judge Robert Morin sentenced Mr. Witaschek to time served, a $50 fine and required him to enroll with the Metropolitan Police Department's firearm offenders' registry within 48 hours.

Outside the courtroom, I asked Mr. Witaschek how he felt about the verdict. “I'm completely outraged by it,” he said. “This is just a continuation of the nightmare. Just to sit there. I could not believe it.”

Shaking his head, he added, “None of these people know anything about gun issues, including the judge.”

His wife Bonnie Witaschek was crying. “It's just so scary,” she said. “You never think you'll end up in a situation like this, but here we are.”

Mr. Witaschek's attorney Howard X. McEachern shook his client's hand and said, “We're not done.” Mr. McEachern plans to appeal the decision.

I asked the defense attorney for his opinion of the verdict. “Clearly the judge thought that this was overkill the sentence reflects how he felt about the prosecution of this case,” he replied.

Click here to read about the first half of the day of trial when Mr. Witaschek took the stand in his own defense.

Until the final hours of the trial, both the defense and government focused the case on whether the single 12 gauge shotgun shell that was found in Mr. Witaschek's D.C. home was operable. The judge, however, never ruled on it.

In the afternoon on Wednesday, Judge Morin shook the plastic shell and tried to listen to something inside. He said he could not hear any gunpowder. He then asked the lawyers to open the shell to see if there was powder inside.

(This seemed like a bizarre request since the lack of primer — not gunpowder — would be relevant to the interoperability of the misfired shell.)

(Click link below to read more)
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