BOWIE, MD (WUSA9) - A former Marine from Maryland convicted of a gun crime in New Jersey will not go to prison after all. Just before the close of business on Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie commuted Hisashi Pompey’s sentence. He was set to go to prison on Monday.
“It couldn’t have come any sooner, right before Easter,” said WUSA9 anchor Bruce Johnson, who interviewed Pompey and his wife Stacey.
— bruce johnson (@brucejohnson9) April 14, 2017
Stacey called Bruce at 5 p.m. Friday, just moments after the family received an email from Gov. Christie’s office.
“She’s ecstatic; she’s crying,” Bruce described. “They’re just so incredibly grateful to everybody who responded, who called the governor’s office.”
The commutation came after WUSA9 aired stories with Pompey. We reached out to Gov. Christie's office asking for an explanation and reaction. Hundreds of people online called on the governor to keep Pompey out of prison.
This isn’t a full pardon. The commutation means the conviction will stay on his record, but he won’t have to serve prison time. Gov. Christie can take further actions to fully pardon him and remove the crime from his record.
Today I signed the commutation order for former Marine Sergeant Hisashi Pompey. pic.twitter.com/4rXl6r2Epu— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) April 14, 2017
Pompey was convicted of felony possession of an unlawful firearm after Pompey’s friend grabbed his gun after a fight. The gun was legally registered in Virginia, but laws at the time banned the gun in New Jersey.
He was sentenced to the mandatory three-year term. His friend took a plea deal in the case.
But if the incident happened today, he wouldn’t have been arrested.
Pompey’s case prompted a change in gun laws in the Garden State the year after he was arrested and charged.
Pompey had never been in trouble before and the conviction ended his career in the Marines. He was medically discharged.
For now, the family plans to spend the rest of the Easter holiday with loved ones in New Jersey.
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