KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A Kansas City man who was involved in a hit-and-run accident before leading police on a car chase, which ended when he crashed into a pole, pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to illegally possessing a firearm.
James C. Coleman, 48, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge F. Sachs to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, Coleman was involved in a hit-and-run accident at the intersection of E. 67th Street and College Avenue in Kansas City at about 1 a.m. on Oct. 4 of last year.
The driver of the vehicle that was hit told officers that a Volkswagen station wagon (later determined to be driven by Coleman) failed to stop for the stop sign and hit his vehicle. He also told officers that Coleman, who appeared to be high, got out of his car but then left the scene of the accident without exchanging any information.
A Kansas City police officer saw Coleman’s vehicle shortly after the hit-and-run accident. The officer fell in behind Coleman’s vehicle and watched as the station wagon struck a curb.
Then, the officer activated his patrol car’s emergency lights and siren, but Coleman refused to stop and a pursuit began.
The car chase continued until Coleman struck a city utility pole and crashed into a Lincoln Continental in the 6800 block of Bales Avenue in Kansas City.
Officers noted the vehicle had damage on all sides with multiple air bag deployments. Coleman, who was still inside the overturned vehicle, was lying on his back across the passenger door with his legs coming out of the vehicle’s sun/moon roof. Coleman appeared as though he had tried to crawl out of the passenger side of the vehicle.
A police officer saw a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol lying inside Coleman’s vehicle. After pulling Coleman out of the vehicle, an officer saw a clear baggie that contained what was later determined to be six individual baggies of cocaine.
Coleman was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for evaluation and treatment of his injuries.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Coleman has three prior felony convictions for drug trafficking and a prior felony conviction for stealing.
Under federal statutes, Coleman is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. “The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors,” the press release said.
A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Moeder. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.