Missouri man who shot himself before being arrested, sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegal firearm

Prison Sentence

A  Missouri man who shot himself in the buttocks before being arrested was sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing a firearm.

Herbert Lee Jones, 55, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

On Jan. 4, 2022, Jones pleaded guilty to one count of possessing a controlled substance and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

Jones admitted that he was in possession of a loaded Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol with a magazine with 15 rounds on Feb. 14, 2020, when he was stopped by a Kansas City police detective. The detective saw Jones, who had an outstanding arrest warrant, walking on Quincy Avenue south of 23rd Street. The detective attempted to stop him, but Jones started running away. When the detective caught up with him, he took Jones to the ground; during the struggle, the detective pulled a backpack off Jones. Jones broke free and began to run again, but the detective caught him and took him into custody. Police officers recovered the backpack, which contained the pistol, loose .40-caliber rounds, a plastic baggie that contained 4.3 grams of cocaine, a plastic baggie that contained 1.44 grams of methamphetamine, and two pill bottles that were not labeled and contained random pills that included opioids.

On Nov. 2, 2020, Kansas City police officers attempted to arrest Jones on another outstanding warrant, but he ran into his apartment. As officers watched the apartment building, they heard three gunshots from inside the apartment, approximately 10 seconds apart. After the second gunshot, Jones’s girlfriend left the apartment. After the third gunshot, Jones left the apartment and was arrested. Jones, who had shot himself in the right buttocks, was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital. Officers searched the apartment and found an SCCY 9mm semi-automatic pistol laying on the bed.

Jones later told investigators that he had attempted to shoot himself in the head, but his girlfriend hit his arm away and the gun went off. The second shot occurred when he was laying down with the gun pointed toward his buttocks.

Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Jones has two prior felony convictions for robbery, two prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance, two prior felony convictions for attempted distribution of an imitation controlled substance, and prior felony convictions for larceny and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.