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Newbie Man Loses Appeal of Sentence for Prohibited Possession of Gun

Friday, January 14, 2022 @ 12:01 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

gavel-paleCLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – A New Bethlehem man who was recently convicted of illegal possession of a weapon lost an appeal in Superior Court.

According to court documents, on January 11, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the judgment of sentence from December 2, 2020, imposing 60 to 120 months’ incarceration on 37-year-old Steven Jon Kunselman after he was found guilty of persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell, or transfer a firearm.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in Redbank Township, Clarion County, on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, during which Kunselman allegedly fired eight rounds from a handgun.

According to the court documents, following his conviction and sentencing, Kunselman filed an appeal, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in denying a post-sentence motion, seeking dismissal of the charges due to a violation of his right to a speedy trial.

The court opinion notes that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspended Rule 600, which governs the timeline for pre-trial incarceration and the timeline for commencing a trial from March 19, 2020, to June 1, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The opinion also notes that some delays in Kunselman’s trial were because of Kunselman, including a joint motion for continuance to afford a new public defender who was appointed to the case time to prepare for the trial.

According to the opinion, in calculating a potential Rule 600 violation, the court found only 328 days elapsed between the filing of the criminal complaint and when the jury trial began, which falls short of the permissible 365 days in which the Commonwealth must bring a defendant to trial.

Based on that finding, the court discerned no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s denial of the post-sentence motion raising a Rule 600 violation and affirmed the judgement of sentence.

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