Jury Convicts Man for Illegally Possessing a Firearm While on Probation

Modified: February 29, 2016 5:48pm

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Erie County Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr announced that 23 year-old Peter J. Kohler of  718 Hopkins Street, Buffalo was convicted, as charged, of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree following a four-day  jury trial before Supreme Court Justice Christopher J. Burns.

On February 19, 2015, Kohler brought a loaded .22 caliber revolver to his own birthday party hosted by a friend. An intoxicated Kohler accidentally fired the revolver in his pants.

Kohler, on probation for a previous weapons conviction, tried to walk home with the loaded revolver in his pocket.  One of Kohler’s friends took the weapon from Kohler and placed it in his own pocket, before walking Kohler home.  

Kohler and his friend were stopped by police. The friend was charged with possession of the revolver, Kohler was not.

Relying on DNA evidence, phone records and the work of the Buffalo Police Department, an Erie County Grand Jury indicted Kohler and exonerated his friend.

The trial jury heard additional evidence, including recorded phone calls where Kohler offered to bribe his friend to take the charge.

Kohler now faces a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 15 years in state prison when sentenced by Justice Burns on February 26 2016 at 9:30 am.