Valdosta Daily Times

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April 9, 2014

Valdosta man convicted of receiving stolen property

VALDOSTA — After a short trial and jury deliberation, a Valdosta man was convicted Tuesday of theft by receiving stolen property for purchasing a handgun.

Jessie Carl Daniels Jr., 25, was charged with theft by receiving stolen property after buying a .22-caliber Luger handgun sometime between Aug. 15 and Sept. 14, 2012, according to assistant district attorney Meredith Brasher.

The gun was stolen in a theft from vehicle case and sold by the same person who allegedly stole it, according to testimony from Detective Troy Black. Charges in that case against James H. Manning Jr. are still pending.

Black said that during interviews with the sheriff’s office and an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Daniels told investigators that he went to Manning’s house with a friend and purchased the handgun.

Daniels’ lawyer, Dan Johnson, said that the gun was purchased for $80, but Special Agent Robert W. Davis with the ATF said it was purchased for $70.

Special Agent Davis, Detective Black, and John Wilson, the rightful owner of the gun, testified that a .22-caliber Luger in similar condition would sell for $250 to $350 and that Daniels purchased the gun for well under market value.

Brasher argued that the low price should have been a warning sign to Daniels that the gun was stolen.

Investigators became aware of the sale after the gun was given to them by Daniels’ soon-to-be ex-wife. During her testimony, she said she discovered the gun in the back of a closet and then gave it to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 20, 2012. She said she believes the gun was purchased in part with $50 she gave Daniels to get his wedding ring back from a pawn shop.

The entire trial lasted shortly over an hour Tuesday, and the jury deliberated for almost half an hour before returning with a guilty verdict.

Daniels will be sentenced May 29 and faces one to 10 years in the Georgia State Penal          System, according to Brasher.

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