A Shenandoah County judge has given back the right to own guns to two convicted felons.
Retired Judge Dennis L. Hupp entered orders in Shenandoah County Circuit Court last week restoring gun ownership rights to Ira E. Wolfe Sr. and Robert T. Wescoat during hearings for both petitioners.
Wolfe, represented by attorney Kermit L. Racey, filed a petition in the court Dec. 1, 2017. Westcoat, represented by Dragana Racey, filed his petition Nov. 26, 2018.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley did not object to either man’s request, court documents show.
Wolfe states in his petition that he lives in the Basye area of Shenandoah County and has worked as a self-employed handyman for two years. The petition states that Wolfe’s felony convictions include breaking and entering on Nov. 20, 1991, for which he received a six-month jail sentence, with five months suspended, and three years of probation. Wolfe was convicted of breaking and entering on Feb. 23, 1992, for which he received a two-year prison sentence, all time suspended, and three years of probation. Wolfe was convicted on Nov. 28, 1992, on possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for which he received a sentence of two years in prison. All convictions mentioned in the petition occurred in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. Wolfe, now in his mid-40s, committed the crimes in his late teens.
Wolfe’s petition goes on to state that he served his time and completed all probationary requirements, including payment of restitution, court costs and fines.
“Petitioner avers that he is and has been a good and law-abiding citizen following completion of the aforesaid sentences and/or probationary requirements, and his civil rights has (sic) been restored by the Honorable Terence R. McAuliffe ...” the petition states, referring to the former Democratic governor. “Petitioner is a sportsman and would like to have his right to possess, carry, transport and receive firearms and ammunition returned to him so that he may once again engage in hunting and other lawful firearm related activities, including experiencing the joy of introducing his grandchild to the sport.
“It is represented that the Petitioner has long since reformed his ways and does not constitute a threat to the well being of the public in any way,” the petition states.
Wescoat’s petition states he was convicted of felony distribution of marijuana to people under 18 years old. The offense did not involve the use of a firearm. Wescoat, 43, of Strasburg, had his civil rights restored Sept. 2, 2016, by McAuliffe, the petition notes.
“Your Petitioner has an avid interest in hunting and would like to be able to resume this hobby and pass it on to his daughter,” Wescoat’s petition states.
Hupp’s order granting Wescoat’s petition states that the conviction occurred Feb. 20, 1998, in Albemarle County Circuit Court. Hupp notes that Wescoat has no other felony convictions and that the commonwealth did not object to the petition.