×

Former Pelham police chief Edward Fleury gets probation in gun case

  • Former Pelham police chief Edward Fleury, back to camera, is greeted by his parents and sister after his sentencing Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Former Pelham police chief Edward Fleury thanks Judge Daniel Ford following his sentencing Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. His attorney, Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross, is beside him. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Judge Daniel Ford speaks during the sentencing of Edward Fleury, Thursday, in Hampden Superior Court. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The mother and sister of Edward Fleury listen during his sentencing Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Northwestern Assistant District Attorney Matthew Thomas speaks during the sentencing of Edward Fleury, Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Edward Fleury is greeted by his mother after his sentencing, Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Edward Fleury listens during his sentencing Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Edward Fleury gets a hug from his sister after his sentencing, Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



@ecutts_HG
Thursday, October 05, 2017

SPRINGFIELD — Former Pelham police chief Edward Fleury was sentenced to two years probation and fined $7,500 Thursday after a jury in September convicted him of improperly storing guns in his home.

The sentence imposed by Judge Daniel Ford in Hampden Superior Court came after two earlier sentencing hearings were postponed while Fleury, 60, was hospitalized with a medical condition.

“One of the cardinal rules of sentencing is that the sentence must fit the crime but also must fit the offender,” Ford said in handing down his sentence. “The defendant should have known better. He is a former chief of police.”

In addition to probation, Fleury was ordered not to possess or use any firearm, rifle or gun and is not allowed to store any guns in his home.

“It’s a big difference between being on probation and being behind bars,” Fleury said in reaction to his sentence.

Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Matthew Thomas sought a prison sentence of one to three years and five years of probation for the “grand fashion” in which Fleury violated the law.

Fleury’s attorney, Elizabeth Rodriguez-Ross, asked the court for a sentence of one year of probation, citing Fleury’s health, service to the community and support from his family.

“It’s the right thing to do for someone who has done so much,” she said. “Jail is not a place for Mr. Fleury.”

Fleury served as Pelham police chief from 1991 to 2009, but resigned his post after an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself with a machine gun during a Westfield firearms exhibition that Fleury organized in 2008. He was acquitted of manslaughter in connection with the boy’s death in 2011.

“Since the 2009 incident, for Mr. Fleury and his family, life has never been the same,” Rodriguez-Ross said.

A jury found Fleury guilty earlier this month of 12 counts of improperly storing a firearm, and not guilty on 10 of the same charges. Eleven of the guilty verdicts were reached on guns police said were found improperly stored in the attic space of Fleury’s home. The final guilty verdict was on a gun found in a study at the home.

Fleury was charged with 22 counts of improperly storing a firearm stemming from a September 2014 search of his home. Police found the guns when they executed a search warrant at Fleury’s home looking for a Glock handgun he allegedly pointed at his friend outside the Belchertown VFW Post in August 2014. Fleury was acquitted by a jury last year on assault charges stemming from the alleged incident.

In arguing for a probationary sentence, Rodriguez-Ross also spoke of Fleury’s health issues, some of which had been triggered by the stress of the cases.

Two retired police officers wrote letter’s in support of Fleury, including a former Williamsburg chief of police and an officer who went through the police academy with Fleury.

Outside the courtroom, Fleury said he plans to appeal the case, saying the jury’s verdict was inconsistent.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.