Two Year Prison Sentence Given To Albany Man in Gun Incident

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An Albany man will spend two years in prison after being found guilty of two felony charges.

The Athens County Prosecutor’s office announced Wednesday that Steven Vance, 37, was convicted of  improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a felony of the fourth degree, and one count of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree.

According to the Athens Messenger, Vance was arrested an hour after police responded to a report of shots fired near East State Street and Morris Avenue, and  tried to hide the weapon from officers. Vance also hid a magazine cartridge containing two 9mm rounds of ammunition behind a tree near Merkle and Franklin avenues.

Vance appeared on May 21 in Athens County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Patrick Lang sentenced him to 12 months for each count.

Vance was previously indicted on three charges in February 2013, including improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence and menacing by stalking, in which he pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity.

According to court records, on Dec. 16, 2014, Vance withdrew his former not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle and tampering with evidence. Vance’s plea agreement dismissed the menacing by stalking count and would serve two years with no judicial release or early release of any kind.

He may no longer have direct or indirect contact with the victim of the menacing by stalking charge.

The firearm seized during the investigation of the case will be returned to its owner and all ammunition will be turned over to the Athens Police Department.