Felony charges dismissed

Former police chief pleads guilty to lesser charges
Mar. 22, 2014 @ 11:19 AM

The former Warrenton police chief charged with nine felonies accepted a plea deal March 10, effectively ending a two-year legal battle surrounding questionable gun purchases.

Appearing before Judge Wilton Russell Duke Jr., John T. Younts, 34, of 3649 Whitwinds Way, Franklinton, was found guilty of failing to report and discharge other duties, according to court records.

Eight felony charges of obtaining property by false pretense and one felony charge of embezzlement were dismissed, according to court records.

He was sentenced to six months of unsupervised probation and required to immediately surrender his law enforcement certification, according to court records.

The transcript of the plea arrangement indicates Younts entered an Alford plea of guilty to one count of failing to report and discharge other duties.

Younts’ attorney, Keith Bishop, said the Alford plea allowed his client to state on the record that he had not committed any wrongdoing.

In 2012, a grand jury indicted Younts on eight counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of embezzlement.

The grand jury stated Younts knowingly defrauded the town on eight occasions by purchasing $3,756 worth of handguns from Lawmen’s Law Enforcement Supply.

According to the indictment records, all were purchased in Younts’ name for personal use.

Court records from a State Bureau of Investigation report show Younts’ purchases using a town credit card included a Smith and Wesson .357 revolver, a Ruger LCP .380, a Walther PPS .40 pistol, a Glock 27, a Smith and Wesson 1911 PD Crimson Trace, a Smith and Wesson 1911 Tactical Rail Series, a Glock 22, and a Sig Sauer Mosquito with TLR-1.

Younts was fired from his position of Warrenton Police Chief in a closed session by the Warren County commissioners in October 2011.

At the time, board members would not say why Younts had been fired.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.