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Life sentence possible for York felon who fired gun
A York City man who police said fired a few gunshots just after midnight on New Year's Day 2017 is facing a possible life sentence.
A federal jury in Harrisburg on Monday, March 12, convicted Steven George Gray, 46, of being a felon in possession of a gun.
York City Police, who made the original arrest, say the gun was stolen.
The maximum penalty for Gray's offense is life in prison, according to a news release from Dawn Mayko, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Harrisburg.
However, the release states that a sentencing judge must consider a number of factors before deciding the appropriate punishment, meaning Gray could be sentenced to less time.
A sentencing date has not yet been set. A pre-sentence conference has been scheduled for July 30, according to federal court records.
The background: York City Police Officer Paul Thorne was on patrol in the east end of the city at 12:04 a.m. Jan. 1, 2017, when he heard gunshots he thought were coming from the 700 block of Silk Avenue, an alley that runs parallel to, and between, Wallace and Chestnut streets, according to court documents.
Thorne was searching the area when he saw a man later identified as Gray holding a handgun in his right hand, down at his side, and walking in the 700 block of Wallace Street, where Gray lived, documents state.
When the officer was seven to 10 feet away from Gray, he ordered the man to drop the gun, police said.
Gray started to turn to face the officer but instead ran east on Wallace Street, documents allege.
Loaded gun ditched: Thorne gave chase and saw Gray toss away the handgun before eventually running onto the front porch of a neighbor, police said.
Thorne arrested Gray on that porch, then went back to search for the gun, according to police.
Neighbors alerted the officer to the discarded handgun, a Taurus 9mm with a round in the chamber and six rounds in its magazine, court documents state.
Police later determined the handgun had been reported stolen from New Hampshire in 1995, according to those documents.
Gray remains charged in York County with being a felon in illegal firearm possession, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He initially was denied bail in the York County case, but later released on unsecured bail, court records state.
Gun thrown: The reckless endangerment charge was lodged because Gray allegedly threw a loaded handgun onto a public sidewalk, according to county court documents.
Gray remains on federal house arrest that includes electronic monitoring, according to federal court records.
Convicted felons are prohibited from owning or even holding firearms. Court records reveal that in 2015, Gray pleaded guilty in York County Court to felony drug dealing.
Gray was convicted after a three-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones III.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Scott R. Ford and Kim Douglas Daniel prosecuted Gray, according to Mayko.
Court records don't list a date for Gray's next appearance for his York County case.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.