A Missouri man was sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing the firearm he used to shoot into a home occupied by a woman and her infant child.
Bernard Manuel, 34, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The sentence reflects an eight-year term of imprisonment for Manuel’s conviction in this case plus a two-year term of imprisonment for violating the terms of his supervised release, which the court ordered to be served consecutively for a total of 10 years.
On Dec. 1, 2021, Manuel pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Manuel admitted that he was in possession of a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic handgun that had been stolen.
According to court documents, Kansas City police officers responded to a report of gunshots fired on the morning of April 1, 2021. A bullet had entered a residence on the 90th block of Kentucky Avenue, which at the time was occupied by a woman and her infant son. Thirteen 9mm shell casings were found in the street.
That evening, a 911 call alerted police that Manuel, whom the caller believed to be the shooter, was in a Chevrolet Impala with a gun on his lap at 43rd Street and Indiana Avenue. When police officers approached Manuel’s vehicle they saw bullet holes on both the driver’s side and passenger’s side of the vehicle. When Manuel got out of the vehicle, the handgun fell from his lap. Officers also found two rounds of 9mm ammunition in an ammunition box in the Impala’s driver-side door. A lab analysis confirmed that one of the 9mm shell casings found in the street after the shooting earlier in the day was fired from Manuel’s handgun.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. At the time of this offense, Manuel was still serving a term of supervised release for a 2012 conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Manuel was convicted of robbery in 2006; while on probation for that felony, he was convicted of burglary. While on probation for robbery and burglary, he was convicted in federal court of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following federal incarceration, Manuel violated the terms of his supervised release and was sentenced to an additional year in prison, followed by a year of supervised release. His second term of supervised release began on Jan. 22, 2021 – less than three months before this offense.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Heberle. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.