Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Chris Christie Commutes Sentence Of Marine Facing Prison For Carrying Legally Registered Handgun
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Friday commuted the sentence of a Marine Corps veteran who faced three years in prison for bringing a handgun legally registered in Virginia into the Garden State, where another man brandished it during a confrontation with police, a local ABC News affiliate reports.
Hisashi Pompey, a former military police sergeant and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, was charged and convicted of felony possession of an unlawful firearm in 2013. His career in the Marine Corps was terminated as a result. Pompey began petitioning Christie for a pardon after losing his appeal in February. He was scheduled to begin his prison sentence on Apr. 17.
“I would plead to him, ask him, beg him anyway I can for his forgiveness because technically I didn’t really commit a crime,” Pompey told CBS News before Christie commuted his sentence.
In 2011, Pompey, then an active duty sergeant stationed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, was arrested after a friend drew Pompey’s handgun on a large crowd outside a Fort Lee nightclub, where police officers were responding to reports of a fight.
Pompey has since maintained that the friend, Isaiah Wilson, snatched his firearm out of its holster, but also acknowledged that he had made a mistake: Pompey claimed he had brought the gun to New Jersey unwittingly, and only realized he had it after it slipped out of a gym bag in the nightclub parking lot.
Pompey said that before he and Wilson initially entered the club, they had locked the gun in the car’s glove compartment and the magazine in the truck. Pompey had retrieved his gun from Wilson’s car and loaded it with a magazine after a brawl erupted inside the nightclub, according to court documents.
At some point, Wilson, who was drunk and badly injured in the fight, took the gun from Pompey’s hip holster. Pompey claimed in court that he had been rendering first aid to Wilson and could not remember exactly how Wilson managed to disarm him. “I was careless,” he testified.
When police arrived, someone spotted Wilson carrying the gun and panic ensued. Officers responded by drawing their weapons on Wilson and ordering him to drop the gun. Wilson refused to comply, and instead ducked behind a car, where he attempted to hide the firearm.
Wilson was arrested and the gun was found with a round in the chamber. Pompey, who was out of uniform, claimed ownership of the firearm and identified himself to police as a Marine and an off-duty MP.
Pompey was registered to legally carry a firearm in Virginia, but not in New Jersey. He was visiting family in Fort Lee at the time of the incident. In 2008, New Jersey lawmakers imposed a three year mandatory sentence for gun-related offenses as part of an effort to combat gang violence, according to ABC News.
Because the incident occurred in 2011, the federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, which allows certain government personnel to carry concealed weapons across state lines, did not apply to Pompey. Congress amended the law in 2013 to cover military police.
Pompey’s conviction still stands, but the penalty is gone. He is currently seeking a full pardon, which is under review.
“The issue has now turned for the better,” Pompey told ABC News after news Christie's decision to commute his sentence broke. “And we’re going to recoup and, just, oh my God … We’re all humans. Humans make mistakes.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misstated that Gov. Chris Christie had pardoned Pompey. Christie commuted Pompey's sentence but did not issue a full pardon. Updated 4/17/2017; 12:42pm
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
What it was like to liberate the Nazi death camp of Dachau, according to an Army veteran who was there
At age 23 in the spring of 1945, Guy Prestia was in the Army fighting his way across southern Germany when his unit walked into hell on earth — the Nazi death camp at Dachau.
"It was terrible. I never saw anything like those camps," said Prestia, 97, who still lives in his hometown of Ellwood City.
Against a blistering 56 mph wind, an F/A-18F Super Hornet laden with fuel roared off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and into the brilliant January sky.
Chalk up another step forward for America's newest and most expensive warship.
The Ford has been at sea since Jan. 16, accompanied by Navy test pilots flying a variety of aircraft. They're taking off and landing on the ship's 5 acre flight deck, taking notes and gathering data that will prove valuable for generations of pilots to come.
The Navy calls it aircraft compatibility testing, and the process marks an important new chapter for a first-in-class ship that has seen its share of challenges.
"We're establishing the launch and recovery capabilities for the history of this class, which is pretty amazing," said Capt. J.J. "Yank" Cummings, the Ford's commanding officer. "The crew is extremely proud, and they recognize the historic context of this."
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.