CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Charlotte man will spend the next few years in prison after being convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Officials say 26-year-old Gregory Fondren, a domestic violence offender, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. to spend 3 years and 10 months incarcerated, followed by 3 years of probation.

“Armed domestic abusers are far more likely to inflict serious bodily harm on their intimate
partners, and potentially create dangerous situations for innocent bystanders and responding law enforcement officers,” said U.S. Attorney King. “My office will continue to utilize federal gun laws to prevent and prosecute prohibited persons from illegally possessing firearms.”

Court documents claim that a witness called 911 on September 17, 2021, to say a man, who was later identified as Fondren was “physically assaulting and strangling” a woman in a grocery store parking lot.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) officers say they found the woman, who was Fondren’s girlfriend at the time, injured and bleeding from the assault. A witness told officers that Fondren put his then-girlfriend in a headlock before punching and kicking her while she was on the grounds.

According to authorities, Fondren ran from police but was caught quickly. In a backpack that Fondren had thrown during that chase was found his ID and a .38 caliber revolver despite Fondren being banned from possessing firearms due to previous convictions for Assault by Strangulation and Common Law Robbery.

This case was investigated by a partnership between ATF and CMPD. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.

According to data collected by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the chance of homicide by 500% and 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.

“Too often, we’ve seen domestic violence turn deadly when a firearm is involved,” said Alicia Jones, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). “ATF works daily to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous and prohibited individuals, including those with a history of domestic violence.”

The news of the sentencing comes two days after a Statesville man was charged with brutally assaulting and strangling his wife to death and a murder-suicide in a reported domestic dispute in Salisbury.