MILLERSBURG -- A Loudonville man on Tuesday, June 13, denied being in possession of a loaded gun during a May traffic stop.
Donnie M. Spurlock, 23, of 3055 County Road 3175, Lot 91, Loudonville, pleaded not guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
If convicted of the fourth-degree felony, Spurlock faces up to 18 months in prison.
The charge stems from a May 10 traffic stop conducted along Millersburg's South Washington Street, according to Chief Deputy Richard Haun of the Holmes County Sheriff's Office.
Spurlock, who was pulled over for having no license plate, immediately told the deputy there was a shotgun in his vehicle's back seat. And, that's where the officer found, directly behind the driver's seat, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, said Haun.
Ohio law prohibits the carrying in a motor vehicle a weapon when the weapon and ammunition are immediately accessible in one place to a driver and passengers, said Haun, noting an unloaded weapon may be transported along with ammunition, as long as one or both are located in a separate compartment, such as a truck or glove box, and are inaccessible to the vehicle's occupants.
Spurlock, currently free on a $5,000 bond, is next scheduled to appear in Holmes County Common Pleas Court for a July 27 pretrial conference. A jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 28.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or email@example.com.