The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

October 21, 2013

Man gets 5 years for firearm offense

By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer

---- — CLINTON — A 22-year-old male will serve as much as five years in prison for posing with a firearm.

Austin Lathrop was convicted of a felony for operating while intoxicated, third offense in 2009. On Sept. 12, he pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm as a felon.

Defense attorney Jay Sommers told district court judge Gary McKenrick on Thursday that his client realizes posing with a gun as a felon was a foolish thing to do. According to court records, Lathrop was photographed possessing a firearm in December 2012, while at a friend’s residence in DeWitt. The defendant then posted the photo on his Facebook page.

In April, a Cedar County Sheriff’s Office detective interviewed the defendant and Lathrop admitted to possessing the firearm and posting the photograph, according to the affidavit. He was arrested for possession of a firearm as a felon.

“He’s paid the price for the poor judgment he made for posing for a photograph,” Sommers said. Lathrop added that it was a stupid thing to do.

Looking at Lathrop’s criminal record, McKenrick said it is clear he has done “a lot of stupid things in his short life.” Combined with the fact that he has not appeared to cooperate with community-based probation and programs, he decided incarceration is the best option.

“I don’t think the community can stand to take a chance of community-based corrections again,” McKenrick said.

Lathrop was ordered to serve no more than five years in the Iowa Department of Corrections and was fined $750. The fine was suspended.