Ethan Kollie, friend of Oregon District shooter, pleads guilty to 2 federal charges

Oregon District Shooting

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Ethan Kollie, a friend of Oregon District shooter Connor Betts, pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts that could bring a give-or-take jail term of 33-41 months, according to sentencing guidelines.

The judge will hand down the final sentence on February 20, 2020. Under the law the judge can impose a sentence above or below the guidelines.

“What would we like to see? A just sentence,” said First Assistant United States Attorney for U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio Vipal Patel. “It’s just too early to tell what we’ll be advocating for at this point.”

Kollie pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm while under the influence and addiction of a controlled substance. He also pleaded guilty to making a false statement on federal firearms form 4473 at Shoot Point Blank, in Miami Township.

Kollie allegedly bought an upper receiver and a 100-round drum for Oregon District shooter Connor Betts, which were part of the weapon Betts used in the shooting as well as body armor, but Patel clarified Wednesday that because there are no required forms to purchase those items similar to those needed to purchase a firearm, he cannot be charged for buying them.

“In fact, many of those items can be purchased on the internet,” he said. “It’s the lower receiver of the AR rifle that constitutes the actual firearm in the federal definition.”

Prosecutors said Kollie wasn’t aware of Betts’ plans to attack the Oregon District.

Meanwhile, Kollie’s defense team says they have been in talks with the government for a few weeks now and they are content with the terms of the plea agreement.

One of his attorneys says that ultimately, his client wanted to take responsibility for his actions.

Nick Gounaris adds that the U.S. government usually does not charge these offenses unless they’re associated with more serious offenses. He argues that Kollie is not a risk to the community solely because he is guilty of lying.

“An offense of similar nature, for example filing a tax return where you sign a statement that isn’t true, those folks are released pending the outcome of the case. And so, we think it’s appropriate in this case as well,” he said.

Both the government and defense agree with the U.S. sentencing guideline that was announced in court, which says 33-41 months in prison would be appropriate for this case given Kollie’s background.

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