For Immediate Release
Jury Convicts Independence Man of Illegal Firearm After He Shoots His Girlfriend
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Independence, Mo., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of illegally possessing a firearm that he used to shoot his girlfriend.
William C. McGee, 43, was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was charged as a career criminal due to his prior felony convictions.
Police officers were called to the Great Western Motel in Independence on June 13, 2018, in response to a report from a motel guest who heard gunshots. The caller also told police that the suspected shooter was in a green Toyota Camry, last seen traveling west on 24 Highway.
Officers located the green Toyota Camry in a nearby driveway. McGee was standing beside the vehicle. When he saw the police officers, McGee reached behind his back, pulled out a black Hi-Point 9mm handgun, and threw it over the vehicle. McGee, who had an active arrest warrant for domestic assault, was placed under arrest. The firearm was loaded with one round of 9mm ammunition.
McGee’s girlfriend, who was standing beside him, told officers that McGee had shot her outside their camper home, which was parked at that location, and she had a gunshot wound to her buttocks. Located in the camper were multiple rounds of 9mm ammunition – the same brand of ammunition as found in the firearm.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. McGee has three prior felony convictions for delivery of a controlled substance and prior felony convictions for distributing a controlled substance, possessing a controlled substance, and carrying a concealed weapon.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for approximately 30 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. Chief District Judge Beth Phillips, ending a trial that began Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Under federal statutes, McGee is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Q. McCarther and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Neighborhoods
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, and local law enforcement to specifically identify criminals responsible for significant violent crime in the Western District of Missouri. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. Project Safe Neighborhoods is an evidence-based program that identifies the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develops comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, Project Safe Neighborhoods focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.