KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - The father of the man who killed Kalamazoo officer Eric Zapata in April 2011 pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of helping felons - his sons - possess firearms.
In March, Kim Robert Statler, 53, was indicted by a federal grand jury for "aiding and abetting felons in possession of firearms and otherwise disposing of thirteen firearms to convicted felons," said the US Attorneys Office.
In the plea agreement he made, the elder Statler admitted he knowingly transferred possession of 13 guns to his sons, Kim Jr. and Leonard, who -- because they had both been previously convicted of crimes -- could not legally possess guns.
A Norinco SKS was used by Danny Statler to kill Zapata on April 18, 2011 in the Edison neighborhood. Moments before, Statler used a Smith & Wesson revolver to fire at the officer, then used the assault weapon.
Statler then turned the weapon on himself.
Though the crime of "disposing of firearms to a felon" is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Statler's plea deal calls for no more than two years. If, however, the judge indicates he will sentence Statler to more than two years, Statler has the right to withdraw his plea.
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