Michael Christopher Harris, who maintained his innocence in a letter to a United States District Court judge, pleaded guilty today to one of the two federal counts lodged against him.
Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones Jr. in New Bern conditionally approved Harris’s memorandum of plea agreement in which count 1 will be dismissed at sentencing. Sentencing is set for the October term of court.
Jones accepted Harris’s guilty plea count 2 of the indictment filed against him — that he possessed a firearm and ammo around April 3 of 2019.
The count tentatively slated to be dismissed is one in which he is charged with possessing ammunition while previously being convicted of a crime on November 21 of 2018.
The federal charges he faces are tied to two separate shooting investigations which took place in Northampton County.
Documents contained in the electronic court file do not give reasons why the Roanoke Rapids man chose to plead guilty after he detailed his innocence in a letter to District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan. Documents contained in the court file do show he consented to a magistrate arraignment.
In another document filed today the United States government seeks the forfeiture from Harris of a Springfield Armory 9mm handgun and any and all seized ammo.
Since April, Harris had maintained he was innocent and that his right to a speedy trial was being infringed upon.
Harris claimed he was set up while the real shooters were still free. He also claimed that his motion of discovery would prove his innocence.
Last week, however, a motion for a change of plea hearing was filed for and approved to be heard.