"[P]ossession of a firearm may be sole or joint; dominion or control over the object need not be exclusive" to subject one of the parties -- particularly the one who has just broken into the second party's house -- to serious criminal liability.
OK, I'm loving this one.
In sum, career criminal and all-around scumbag Jerome Strickland broke into the home of an elderly couple in Detroit last year. He was confronted by the armed 70-year old man of the house. Strickland tried to disarm the homeowner by wrenching the gun from his hands, the homeowner resisted, and the gun discharged several times during the melee, with bullets striking both parties. (To be fair, it's not clear whether Strickland was hit by bullets from this gun or those fired by the homeowner's wife, who also armed herself and rushed to her husband's defense.)
In any event, Strickland was arrested and charged with--among other things--being a felon in possession of a firearm based upon his previous conviction for armed robbery. Strickland was convicted and he appealed, claiming that the pistol was not his and that he never succeeded in getting it completely away from the homeowner, so therefore he could not be convicted of possessing it.
Alas, a unanimous panel of three Court of Appeals judges ruled late last week, "possession of a firearm may be sole or joint; dominion or control over the object need not be exclusive" to subject one of the parties -- particularly the one who has just broken into the second party's house -- to serious criminal liability. In short, the appellate panel concluded, "the evidence was sufficient to permit a rational trier of fact to reasonably infer that Strickland possessed the gun jointly with Arlis during the assault," even if, in the end, Strickland arguably got the short end of the deal.
Justice, Baby. 26-60 years affirmed when the court ruled that for the purpose of this charge, Strickland "co-possessed" the pistol along with the victim, and said partial possession was, in fact, sufficient to put him away for a long, long time.
Strickland should enjoy spending the next two decades being laughed at by all the other cons for getting punked by a seventy year old man and his wife.