A Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court for illegally possessing firearms on four separate occasions, including an incident that involved a shooting in a neighborhood.
Darris Lamar Mull, 39, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 11 years and three months in federal prison without parole.
On Dec. 19, 2022, Mull pleaded guilty to four counts of being a felon in possession of firearms. Mull admitted he was in possession of a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a Kel-Tec pistol with an extended 30-round magazine on Dec. 6, 2020.
He also possessed firearms on Dec. 15, 2017, when law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence and found a firearm in the dining room and another firearm in the closet; on March 30, 2018, when police officers searched Mull’s vehicle after a traffic stop and found a loaded firearm in the glove box; and on Sept. 2, 2021, when officers found a loaded firearm in his backpack following a foot chase.
Mull, along with co-defendants Cartevion Marquis Chapman, 35, and Nicholas David Caligone, 45, both of Springfield, was involved in a shooting and retaliatory shooting that occurred on Dec. 5 and 6, 2020, over allegations that Mull had stolen drugs from another individual.
Chapman’s vehicle was damaged in a drive-by shooting at Zan Nightclub in downtown Springfield on Dec. 5, 2020. After leaving the nightclub, Chapman met with Mull. Mull received a phone call from his girlfriend, who said the individuals responsible for the shooting at the club were armed and inside their house looking for him. Mull was upset because they went to his house when his kids were present. They went to check on Mull’s girlfriend and children, and then Caligone drove Chapman and Mull to find the people who had been at his house, who were at an address on Kerr Street in Springfield.
When they arrived at the Kerr Street residence at about 6 a.m. on Dec. 6, 2020, Chapman told investigators, they got out of the car and “bullets went flying.”
Chapman, Mull, and others fired multiple rounds; police officers recovered 40 spent shell casings from the area of the shooting. Shell casings were found in front of at least eight separate residences, indicating that Chapman and Mull sprayed the neighborhood with bullets. At least two of the homes had damage consistent with being struck by gunfire.
Chapman and Mull got into Caligone’s Volkswagen immediately after the shooting and left the area. According to the evidence presented at today’s sentencing hearing, Chapman handed his Kel-Tec firearm to Mull, who put it under the front passenger seat and put Mull’s Smith & Wesson pistol, which was stolen, in the glove box. Springfield police officers who heard the gunshots saw Caligone’s vehicle at the intersection of East Kearney and North Delaware and conducted a traffic stop. Caligone, who was driving, Chapman, who was in the front passenger seat, and Mull, who was in the back passenger seat, were arrested.
Investigators determined that some of the expended cartridges recovered from the scene of the Kerr Street shooting came from the two guns found in Caligone’s vehicle and others were fired from two other guns that were not recovered.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Mull has two prior felony convictions for forgery and a prior felony conviction for non-support.
The government’s sentencing motion notes that violent crimes committed with firearms are a significant issue in southwest Missouri. According to the National Incident-Based Reporting System, the Springfield Police Department reported 734 violent crimes committed with firearms and 19 homicides in 2021, with approximately 79 percent of the homicides being committed with a firearm. The Greene County Sheriff’s Department reported 44 violent crimes committed with firearms and six homicides, all committed with firearms.
Although violent crime numbers were down slightly in Springfield in 2022, illegal possession and use of firearms have increased. In 2022, Springfield police officers seized 229 illegal guns, an increase from the 150 illegal guns seized in 2021. There was also a record high of “shots fired” calls in 2022, with a total of 356 incidents that resulted in 73 injuries.
Chapman was sentenced on April 4, 2023, to nine years and seven months in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms. Caligone pleaded guilty on July 5, 2022, to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 16, 2023.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.