Savannah man gets 10 years in prison after aunt finds gun in backyard

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah man received a 10-year prison sentence this week for illegal gun possession.

A jury took just 15 minutes to find 30-year-old Matthew Kearse guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon after a trial in August.

According to David Estes, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Kearse was on parole in November 2018 when his aunt confronted him about a pistol she found in her backyard. Her surveillance system captured her nephew in the area where the gun was found.

The pistol was turned over to law enforcement who determined through DNA testing that Kearse had possessed the weapon.

“Mr. Kearse’s story is one that is all too common,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Beau Kolodka of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Convicted felons have no business possessing firearms and Mr. Kearse’s acquisition of a firearm within four months of his release from prison has resulted in his return to prison for a long time,” Kolodka added.

Following the completion of his 10-year prison term, Kearse has been ordered to serve three years of supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

According to Estes, in the past three years, over 700 defendants have been federally charged in the Southern District of Georgia for illegal firearms offenses. He said most often, the charges stem from gun possession by a convicted felon.

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