Two in court on handgun charges

Thursday, May 27, 2004

A Jackson man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to being a felon in possession of a handgun. A Marble Hill man was sentenced that same day to more than 16 years and four months in prison for the same charge.

Kenneth Shoemaker, 22, of Jackson faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine and a three-year supervised release.

With his plea, Shoemaker admitted that on March 7 he gave his consent for Cape Girardeau police to search his vehicle after they stopped him on Siemers Drive and Highway 74. They found a fully loaded Remington model 1100, 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun behind the seat. Shoemaker admitted that the firearm belonged to his grandfather.

He had been convicted earlier in Cape Girardeau Circuit Court of the Class C felonies of burglary and stealing.

James William Mathena, 37, of Marble Hill had been convicted in 1989 of distribution of methamphetamine and assault on a federal officer with a dangerous weapon, and convicted in 1999 of driving while intoxicated -- all felonies. The federal court considers him an armed career criminal according to U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

On June 11 Bollinger County law enforcement officers served a search warrant at Mathena's home and discovered five firearms. Mathena admitted that they were in his possession.

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