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Gun rights activist Kokesh pleads guilty to weapons charge

Readers of this blog may remember that back in July we turned the spotlight on the case of Northern Virginia resident David Kokesh. He had been arrested on drug and weapon-related charges in connection with an incident in which he allegedly loaded a shotgun while standing just blocks from the White House.

At the time, the 31-year-old Iraq War veteran said that his actions were a political statement and that he fully expected to leverage his Second Amendment right to bear arms in his defense. Apparently, he had a change of heart -- something that seems to have occurred after consultation with a new attorney.

After a nearly four-month stint in a Washington, D.C., jail, Kokesh appeared before a judge last week and pleaded guilty to carrying a rifle or shotgun, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful ammunition. He also pleaded guilty to marijuana possession -- an accusation stemming from a separate case. Two weeks ago, he had entered pleas of not guilty.

He had been due to go to trial next week and this may have had something to do with his change of plea. Court documents show that prosecutors were prepared to level new charges against him for allegedly trying to sneak a cellphone into the jail late last month. But they offered to drop them in return for a plea deal.

Kokesh's attorney said after the plea hearing that he and his client had not been concerned about the cellphone charge. He said the decision to accept the deal followed due consideration of all the evidence and what the likely outcome of a trial would be.

Kokesh is due to be sentenced in January and could face more than six years in prison. In the meantime, he is prohibited from possessing firearms, must stay out of D.C., and report weekly to authorities.

Source: WashingtonPost.com, "Virginia gun rights advocate Adam Kokesh pleads guilty to gun charges, released from jail," Keith L. Alexander, Nov. 6, 2013

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