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Former Pelham police chief found guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing firearms

  • Edward Fleury in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. A jury found the former Pelham police chief guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The family of Edward Fleury listen as the court reads off the verdict at his trial in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. A jury found the former Pelham police chief guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • A Hampshire Superior Court jury found former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury, pictured with his attorney Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross in court Thursday, guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The family of Edward Fleury listen as the court reads off the verdict of his trial in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The family of Edward Fleury listens as the court reads off the verdict of his trial in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. Fleury is pictured below right. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS PHOTOS

  • A Hampshire Superior Court jury found former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury, pictured with his attorney Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross in court Thursday, guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Edward Fleury listens to the court read off the verdict of his trial in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. A jury found the former Pelham police chief guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • The family of Edward Fleury listen as the court reads off the verdict of his trial in Hampshire Superior Court Thursday afternoon. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • A Hampshire Superior Court jury found former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury, pictured with his attorney Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross in court Thursday, guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS



@ecutts_HG
Thursday, September 28, 2017

NORTHAMPTON — A jury has found former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury guilty of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm and not guilty on 10 of the same charges.

The verdict from a jury of five men and seven women came Sept. 21 in Hampshire Superior Court after a four-day trial presided over by Judge Daniel Ford.

Fleury was charged with 22 counts of improperly storing a firearm stemming from a September 2014 search of his Pelham home.

Following the jury’s verdict, defense attorney Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross asked the jurors be individually polled. Judge Daniel Ford denied the request. Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Matthew Thomas asked that Fleury’s bail be revoked. Ford denied that request as well.

During the course of trial, 10 police officers involved with the search and inspection of the guns confiscated from Fleury’s home testified, as well as Fleury’s wife, Jacalyn Fleury.

The jury began deliberations Wednesday around noon. Throughout the course of deliberations, the jury asked three questions — one for the testimony of an officer, another for clarification on where certain guns were found and a third for further explanation of the law.

To find a person guilty of improper storage of a firearm the commonwealth must prove three things. First, a person must be found to have stored or kept a gun.

Second, the person must not have been carrying the gun — which requires actual physical contact — or did not have it under their immediate control, which means a person was not “sufficiently near” the gun “to immediately prevent its unauthorized use.”

Third, a gun is also considered unsecured if it does not have an “engaged tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device,” or if a locked container is easy to break open.

Police conducted the September 2014 search to look for a Glock handgun that Fleury allegedly pointed at a friend outside the Belchertown VFW in August 2014. Fleury was acquitted in October 2016 of an assault with a dangerous weapon charge arising from the VFW incident, as well as two counts of improperly storing a firearm.

Throughout the course of the trial, the defense argued that the Fleury “was tricked” out of his home by Pelham Police Chief Gary Thomann on the day police searched his Pelham residence.

Fleury left guns he had taken out of the attic, in anticipation of using them at one of his property’s shooting ranges, with his wife Jacalyn Fleury. At the time, Jacalyn Fleury had a license to carry.

Thomas rebutted the defense’s argument of entrapment saying Edward Fleury was “a gun guy who loves having his weapons around.”

Rodriguez-Ross said Thursday she plans to appeal the ruling. Fleury was expected to be sentenced Sept. 22, but that sentencing was postponed after Fleury was admitted to the hospital.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.