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Friday, September 5, 2014

Joseph Charlton and Karl Deickmiller / Felon in Possession of a Firearm vs. Indecent Exposure



I’ve been waiting for the final disposition in the Joseph Charlton case as it slowly wound its way through our court system.  This is, unfortunately, how justice generally works in our society.  In the meantime, since his arrest, Charlton has attended various self-improvement classes, probably at taxpayer expense, like:  parenting classes, therapy with his children, drug and alcohol treatment, “and has made a tremendous effort to keep his family together” says his attorney.

Sorry, I don’t buy it.  So much obfuscation and extraneous ‘smoke’ that it makes my eyes water.

In 2012, Charlton’s eleven year old son used a pistol, obtained from his father’s vehicle, to threaten to rob and shoot a young woman while she sat in her pickup which was parked in a lot adjacent to the woman’s church.  Charlton later confessed to law enforcement that the gun was his, and that he customarily kept the loaded gun in the glove box of his vehicle; but that he had not given his son permission to take the gun.  Charlton was a convicted felon and convicted felons are not allowed to possess guns.  He was charged with ‘a Felon in Possession of a Firearm’ and was recently sentenced on that charge.

Karl Deickmiller, a few months back, was observed ‘exposing’ himself to a five-year-old girl who was riding on Tri-Met with her mother.  When confronted by the mother, he ran; but was subsequently identified from a video obtained by the police.  Four days later, Deickmiller ‘overdosed’ on illegal drugs.  When the police arrived, they identified him as the suspect in the indecent exposure investigation.  He was recently sentenced on the ‘indecent exposure’ charge.

These cases are completely unrelated, but I think a comparison of their sentencing is important.  Both Charlton and Deickmiller ultimately entered a plea of guilty.  They did not appear before the same judge in that the gun violation is a federal crime.  And, Deickmiller’s offense is a State violation.  Charlton was given one year and nine months in a federal penitentiary.   Deickmiller, on the other hand, was given two years and nine months in State prison.

‘Public Indecency,’ sometimes referred to as ‘indecent exposure,’ is a misdemeanor.  However, Deickmiller had a conviction twenty years back for ‘First Degree Sodomy,’ which automatically bumped his current charge up to a felony.  Therefore, this made him eligible for an extended stay at the State Penitentiary.  Now, I’m not particularly sympathetic to Deickmiller.  He sounds like a creep with some serious mental problems.  Whether or not the State Penitentiary will change any of his perverted tendencies, I seriously doubt.

Charlton, on the other hand, deserved a longer sentence.  The best gun control measure is when law enforcement and prosecutors crack-down hard on convicted felons.  The woman in the parking lot could have easily been shot by the boy.  And, I think the father of the boy was directly responsible for this near tragedy; and should, therefore, suffer severe consequences.  Not only was Charlton a felon in possession of a handgun, but said gun was loaded and sequestered in the glove box of Charlton’s truck.  That is where his son obtained the gun.  Where Charlton normally kept the gun has not been given much attention other than the gun was not properly secured.  However, a loaded gun in the glove box of a vehicle is also a violation of State law – particularly when you are an x-felon.  Technically speaking, Charlton wasn’t caught driving with the gun in the glove box; so, perhaps, that is why he was not charged with another felony.  But, makes you wonder doesn’t it?  Why does a convicted felon feel it is necessary to keep a loaded handgun in the glove box of his vehicle?

And, why is a loaded gun in the glove box of a vehicle a violation of the law?  Because of the obvious danger it poses for law enforcement should they stop the vehicle.  Criminals usually place guns under the front seat or in the glove box - for easy access.  Is this something that the judge should have considered?  Yes.

Well, maybe the next time.

The Judge gave Charlton until November to check-in at the federal facility.  Let’s see if he can stay out of trouble until then.

Oh, incidentally, it should be noted that he was recently arrested for shoplifting.



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