Former felon not returned gun rights

Judge says law is clear in civil case

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski -

A London man swears he’s changed and should be given his right to bear arms back after being denied due to felonies in the ’90s.

Bradley Gummere, 57, of London, was heard in civil court, between the criminal proceedings Friday morning, asking for “relief from disability” in other words, a return of his rights to bear arms so he can go hunting with friends.

Starting in 1993, Gummere had several felony convictions in Osceola County, Florida, ranging from battery, carrying a concealed weapon into a bar and drug trafficking. After a stint in prison, he moved to London and said he began to turn his life around.

During the hearing, his attorney David Martin called up several community members and friends to vouch for Gummere’s good character.

His neighbor, Raymond Weimer, an employee of the Ohio Attorney General’s office, said for the six years he’s known Gummere, he has only been neighborly, helping out with home maintenance when he was away.

Father Mark Ghiloni, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, said Gummere attends service every Sunday and had been involved with the Catholic civic organization, the Knights of Columbus.

“I’m aware of his past, you know, I’m in the business of helping people change and think he’s made a change in his life that’s sincere,” Ghiloni said during the hearing.

Steve Saltsman, former Madison County Sheriff and Chairman of the county branch of the Republican Party, also spoke to Gummere’s character.

He said to his knowledge, the plaintiff would not be a danger to society if allowed possession of a firearm.

However, Madison County Prosecutor Steve Pronai said that recent DUI citations were reason to not give Gummere legal relief from his ban on firearm ownership, possession or usage.

“Following the section of the law … all of the following [must] apply, number 2: The applicant has led a law abiding life since discharge and release and appears to continue to do so,” he said. “He’s had two DUIs since his release from prison.”

Gummere said he had made mistakes before and has done so again, but overall has turned his life around since the ’90s.

Judge Eamon Costello said the character witnesses, while solid, could not overcome the letter of the law.

“We all [make mistakes] and I’m suggesting in spite of your mistakes, you’re trying. However, it doesn’t matter my personal views on it, my obligation is to follow the law. The law requires me here, to follow the language as the state has laid out, that you have lived as a law abiding citizen since discharge or appears that you will continue to do so. It has been seen since your release that you’ve had two intersections with law enforcement.”

Criminal cases heard Friday morning:

• James Green III, 35, current inmate of Madison Correctional Institution had his formal pretrial held, but was not in attendance due to being held by federal authorities for unknown charges.

He is accused of complicity to an illegal conveyance of drugs, a third-degree felony.

According to Assistant Prosecutor Nick Adkins, Green’s girlfriend transferred Buprenorphine, more commonly known as soboxone, buprenex or butrans to him during a visit. He then hid it in the sole of his shoe.

• Jeremy Nagle, 39, of London, was in for his informal pretrial for a charge of theft of drugs, a third-degree felony. He is set to appear next on May 26 for a formal pretrial hearing.

• Bethany Ellars, 30, of London, was in for her informal pretrial hearing over a charge of theft, a fifth-degree felony and first degree misdemeanor for misuse of a credit card.

Her attorney, Robert Beck, motioned to waive the right to a speedy trial in order to set up restitution to resolve the case.

Should the case not be resolved through the restitution, Ellars will go on trial May 23.

• Aaron Chittison, 31, of Columbus, was in for his formal pretrial hearing over two conveyance of drugs charges, third-degree felonies.

According to his attorney, Robert Beck, a labeling error involving the discovery packet, the list of evidence collected as the case against Chittison was discovered was noted. The Madison County prosecutor’s office is working to fix the issue.

A plea deal to dismiss one of the counts was presented to Chittison.

• Jeremy Pollock, 37, of Springfield, appeared for a formal pretrial hearing on two grand theft charges for stealing guns as well as receiving stolen property, a fifth-degree felony.

He plead guilty through a plea deal to drop two counts for one third-degree felony charge, giving him an 18-month sentence in prison with an option of three year post release control.

Should he commit another felony, he would return to prison one year or the remain time on control, whichever is greater.

• Thomas Fulton, 36 of Rochester, Indiana, was in for his informal pretrial on two charges of aggravated possession of drugs.

Attorney Steve Fox said Fulton was eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction, in other words eligible for a drug recovery program instead of jail or prison.

The formal pretrial hearing will be held May 26.

• Bradley Fournier, 32, of Piketon, was in for an informal pretrial hearing on three fifth-degree felony drug possession charges. Last winter, he was found with three types of opiates: heroin, morphine and oxycodone.

He accepted intervention instead of jail time with a conditional guilty plea, but Costello noted his family is full of drug abuse and it could be difficult. Should Fournier complete the program, a guilty plea will not be entered on his record.
Judge says law is clear in civil case

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat