Friday, February 25, 2011

Congratulations Mark Bederow (Great Win - Page 3 NYPost)

The following story appeared prominently on page 3 of the NY Post today:

A Florida man busted in the city for driving with an unloaded gun that was legal in his home state jubilantly bounced out of a Manhattan courthouse yesterday after a jury, won over by his "Southern charm," cleared him of a felony weapons conviction.

The not-guilty verdict for Jonathan Ryan, 29, came after only 30 minutes of deliberation on a charge of weapons possession that carried a mandatory 3½-year sentence.

"I am so relieved. I feel humbled and blessed," Ryan said afterward.

"When you realize you're on the brink of losing all the little things that are typically taken for granted, you suddenly realize they're not so little."

TRIGGER HAPPY: Jonathan Ryan leaves court with girlfriend Ashley Shewey and lawyer Mark Bederow yesterday after a jury spared him three years' prison.
Steven Hirsch
TRIGGER HAPPY: Jonathan Ryan leaves court with girlfriend Ashley Shewey and lawyer Mark Bederow yesterday after a jury spared him three years' prison.

Ryan admitted that he drove to Manhattan on Feb. 21 of last year with a 9mm pistol -- which he bought legally in Florida in 2007 -- in his truck's glove box. Cops found bullets near the unloaded weapon.

He said he had stowed the gun and ammo in the compartment in 2007 and had simply forgotten about them.

"It was a reasonable explanation that he put the gun in his glove compartment, never fired it and forgot it was there," said juror Ryan St. Clair. "He had no intention of committing a crime."

Ryan had been pulled over on the Upper East Side for turning right at a red light, and when cops approached, the landscaper reached for his registration. That's when they spotted the weapon.

"Circumstance shows maybe he really didn't know [he had the gun]," said juror and retired cop Ronald Schuppert.

Ryan had come from Lake City, Fla., to help move his girlfriend, Ashley Shewey, then a page for "Late Show with David Letterman," back to Florida.

Shewey said her boyfriend made a great impression on the jury.

"He's very old-fashioned Southern charm," she said. "That's what I love about him.

"He comes from a small town. It's all, 'Yes sir,' 'No ma'am.' "

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. was unapologetic about his office's prosecution.

"Guns brought illegally into New York City -- for any reason -- violate well-established state law and are a threat to our public safety," he said.

"We respect the jury's verdict in this case . . . but we will continue to protect our community from those who illegally possess loaded guns in Manhattan."

Criminal Defense lawyer Mark Bederow said his client should have never been hit with a felony.

"This case was overprosecuted from Day One," he said.

Ryan didn't get off completely scot free. He estimated his lawyer's fees and his trips between New York and Florida left him $50,000 in the red.

"Me and my girlfriend will be paying this for a while," he said.


  1. He and his girlfriend paid for this a while but finally at the end the case was in their favor. His lawyer was strong enough to handle this case quite easily.

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