Prosecutors seeking house arrest for N.J. woman who bought
By Peter Hall, OF THE MORNING CALL
Federal prosecutors will drop a charge against the New Jersey woman who bought the handgun Daniel Autenreith used to kill Pennsylvania state Trooper Joshua Miller in June 2009.
Autenreith’s girlfriend, Emily Joy Gross, of Westfield, N.J., is scheduled to plead guilty Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to lying about her address when she purchased the 9 mm handgun at a Berks County sporting goods store.
Federal prosecutors say in papers filed Tuesday they have agreed to dismiss a second charge that Gross made the gun available to Autenreith even though she knew he was barred from possessing firearms because he was the subject of a protection from abuse (PFA) order obtained by his estranged wife.
The documents also reveal how Gross faked her address hours before she purchased the gun.
In a separate filing Wednesday, Gross’ lawyers say prosecutors have conceded that the PFA was a temporary order and didn’t trigger a federal firearms ban. According to the federal firearms law, people subject to a restraining order are banned from possessing firearms only when they have had a chance to attend a hearing. In Pennsylvania, a person may obtain a temporary PFA order without a hearing.
Prosecutors say they will recommend that Gross be sentenced to five years probation, including 12 months of house arrest. Gross’ lawyers say she originally agreed to six months of house arrest, but prosecutors insisted on extending the sentence as a condition of dropping the second charge.
Both prosecutors and Gross’ lawyers note her maximum sentence under federal guidelines would have been 12 months of house arrest even if she had pleaded guilty to both charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Weber and Gross’ lawyer, Michael Mustokoff of Philadelphia, both declined to discuss the plea agreement Wednesday.