A Kansas City, Missouri, man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of illegally possessing firearms following a three-vehicle collision in which he struck and killed another motorist.
Keith L. Carnes, 30, was found guilty of one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm.
Kansas City police officers responded to an accident at the intersection of 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue on Aug. 30, 2016. Three vehicles were involved in the accident, including a 2008 Pontiac G6 driven by Carnes. Witnesses told police officers that the Pontiac, which had multiple bullet holes in the driver’s side doors, was traveling southbound on Prospect Avenue at a high rate of speed and failed to stop for the red traffic signal. The Pontiac struck a Dodge Ram, which was westbound on 63rd Street, killing the driver and causing it to strike a Nissan Quest and a pole on the southwest corner of the intersection.
Carnes, who had blood on his t-shirt, told officers, “I have been shot, I know I have been shot.” Police officers broke a window in the Pontiac so they could reach Carnes and provide medical assistance. Officers saw a bag of marijuana and a Bersa Thunder .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun on the driver’s side floorboard. The handgun had blood on it. Carnes was transported by emergency medical service to an area hospital for treatment. The driver of the Dodge Ram was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Evidence introduced during the trial indicated Carnes had used the same Bersa Thunder .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun in a shooting on Aug. 16, 2016, in the 3600 block of Wabash Avenue. The victim of that shooting positively identified Carnes in a photographic lineup as the person who fired four shots at him. Officers recovered shell casings from the scene of the shooting and a forensics expert later confirmed they were fired by the same firearm found in Carnes’ vehicle on Aug. 30, 2016.
Carnes had also been arrested for driving while intoxicated following a traffic stop on Feb. 10, 2013. Kansas City police officers stopped Carnes, who was driving a Jeep Liberty, when radar indicated Carnes was driving 54 miles per hour in a 35-miles-per-hour zone. Officers, who smelled a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle, found a loaded Glock .45-caliber pistol in Carnes’ waistband.
Under federal law, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony, or who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance, to be in possession of any firearm or ammunition. Carnes has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and assault.
Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., deliberated for approximately 50 minutes before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, ending a trial that began Monday, Nov. 4.
Under federal statutes, Carnes is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts. 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. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean T. Foley. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.