Town Marshal found guilty
Wanda English Burnett, Editor
Billy J. Moore, 39, of Versailles, was found guilty of Prohibited
Sales or Transfers of Ownership or Possession, a Class C Felony,
last Wednesday, June 6 in Ripley Circuit Court.
The jury trial began on June 5, where jurors would hear information
they would later use to give the guilty verdict in the case.
The charge is defined as a person who sells, gives, or in any
other manner, transfers the ownership or possession of a handgun
to another person who the person has reasonable cause to believe
has been convicted of a felony.
Melvin Wilhelm was the Special Prosecutor in the case that was
presented in Judge Carl Tauls court.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred last June when
according to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Ripley County Probation
Officer Shannon Schmaltz responded to a call at the George Moore
residence in Holton. The probation department received a complaint
that George Moore had been drinking alcohol and was operating
a vehicle with a child in it. George Moore was on probation for
a prior domestic felony charge.
Schmaltz went into the home on June 1, 2006, to administer a portable
breath test. Thats when he found a .380 Bursa Thunder handgun
lying on the floor next to the bed. George Moore told Schmaltz
it was his sons.
The affidavit further notes that Billy Moore, who was the town
marshal at Holton, arrived and said the gun belonged to him and
asked if he could get it. Schmaltz told him not to touch the gun.
Sgt. Bill Davison of the Ripley County Sheriffs Department
arrived and took custody of the weapon, which had bullets in the
magazine and chamber.
Later, Billy Moore called the prosecutors office saying
the gun was left at George Moores so his son, Dereck, could
pick it up and try to sell it to one of his friends. Dereck Moore
confirmed the story as did George.
In the affidavit it says that Billy Moore said he knew that George
Moore was a convicted felon, but had forgotten because he deals
with him on a professional basis and never thought anything
about George not being able to have a handgun.
The defendant further stated that he didnt even think that
George Moore knew the gun was at his building. He said he made
a mistake by leaving the gun. Billy Moore further admitted he
wasnt aware of the statute I.C. 35-47-2-7 certain
handgun transfers of ownership prohibited.
Billy Moore was arrested on January 26, 2007, and posted $1500
on the $15,000 bail that was set. He was serving as the town marshal
at Holton and was placed on desk duty until he went to trial.
He is no longer employed with the town as the marshal according
to Attorney Larry Eaton.
A pre-sentence investigation report was requested by Judge Carl
Taul to be completed before August 10. Sentencing in the matter
is set for August 17 at 2:00 p.m.