Man guilty of gun charge
Former city resident could face jail time for possessing firearm missing serial number
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A former Altoona resident convicted Friday of possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number is likely facing jail time based on the state sentencing guidelines.
Defense attorney Marc Decker said he plans to file an appeal on behalf of Anthony Vogleson, 26, who allegedly found the marred firearm in June 2015 at a local firing range and put it in a dresser drawer at his Evergreen Manor apartment.
Altoona police found the weapon while retrieving a second handgun that Vogleson admitted to firing in Eldorado on the night of June 5, 2015, when occupants of a vehicle shot at him and a relative while they were traveling in a vehicle on the 500 block of 58th Street.
“Is there any doubt that the serial number is scratched off?” District Attorney Richard Consiglio asked the jurors in his closing statement as he held a picture of the gun. “It didn’t just happen to get this way … somebody had to scratch through the metal to scrape that number off.”
The jury took minutes to agree, then rendered a guilty verdict.
Judge Elizabeth Doyle scheduled sentencing for Nov. 21 after completion of a pre-sentence investigation.
Vogleson could be looking at close to two years for the felony offense, Consiglio said.
Decker said he will ask for a mitigated range sentence on behalf of his client, who has no prior criminal record and now lives in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area.
The firearm charge should have been severed and considered independent of the reckless endangerment charge, Decker said, because one didn’t have anything to do with the other.
Altoona police filed both as a result of their investigation into a report of shots being fired and their discovery of shell casings, near the Logan Valley Mall, that would have been fired from the gun with the obliterated serial number.
But Doyle dismissed the reckless endangerment charge based on higher court rulings indicating a need for more supportive evidence.
“Our appellate courts have concluded that for a reckless endangerment charge, you need a witness with some idea about which direction the bullet went or how they were endangered,” Consiglio said. “But something like that is hard to explain to the police who in a case like this are primarily interested in protection of the public.”
While Decker indicated in his opening statement that Vogleson would take the stand and explain how he found the gun, the attorney and his client decided against that trial strategy. Decker asked the judge to limit Consiglio’s questioning of his client to the firearm possession charge and the judge declined.
“His credibility on every subject has to be explored by the commonwealth,” Consiglio said.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.