Belmont man sentenced on firearms chargesBy PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
April 17. 2018 1:03PM
LACONIA — A Belmont man was sentenced Monday on illegal possession of firearms charges.
Belknap County Attorney Andrew Livernois said John Chapman, 30, of Belmont was sentenced Monday on two counts of being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon, for being in possession of two loaded handguns.
On one of the two counts, Chapman was sentenced to 4-8 years in the New Hampshire state prison, with the possibility of having one year suspended. On the second count, Chapman was sentenced to 4-8 years in the New Hampshire state prison, suspended on seven years of good behavior, Livernois announced in a news release.
According to court documents and statements made in court, at the time of his arrest Chapman was found in possession of a Hi-Point 9 mm handgun and a Jennings .380 handgun. Chapman was previously convicted of three prior felonies, and prohibited from possessing a dangerous weapon.
According to Livernois, police reports show on Feb. 26, 2018, Meredith Police Officer Kevin O’Reilly was dispatched to Cumberland Farms for a report of a person sleeping in a vehicle. Police approached Chapman — identified as the man sleeping in his vehicle — and asked him what he was doing there.
According to Livernois, officers asked to see Chapman’s license and registration, and when Chapman opened his glove box police noticed a handgun inside. Officers ordered Chapman out of the vehicle but he refused to exit the car. Instead, police say he locked his doors, put the car in reverse and backed up, smashing into Officer O’Reilly’s cruiser before driving off.
Police say Chapman led them on a high speed chase on Route 25, into Center Harbor, where he was eventually stopped and arrested. In addition to the gun in the glove box, police later recovered a second handgun from under the seat in Chapman’s vehicle, Livernois said.