4.5 years for gun on floor

A man a judge referred to as a “career criminal” will remain behind bars for another three years after police found a loaded restricted handgun on his bedroom floor.

Daniel James Mader, 34, was sentenced Tuesday, one year after police, acting on a tip, searched his home on Rutland's Hein Road and found the black, semi-automatic handgun with its serial number filed off. 

Mader, who has a lengthy criminal record including a manslaughter conviction in 2010, was under a firearms prohibition at the time.

He had pleaded guilty to possession of a loaded, restricted firearm and possession of a firearm while prohibited, and was sentenced to four and a half years in jail Tuesday, minus 18 months for pre-sentence time served.

Mader's girlfriend, Shannah Mccray, was living with Mader when police found the gun in January. She was also charged with several firearms offences, but at the conclusion of Mader's sentencing, charges were dropped.

Crown prosecutor Nick Lerfold conceded Mader had the gun due to “legitimate” concerns for his safety.

In August 2016, Mader's half brother, Benjamin Virgint, was shot dead in the same fourplex on Hein Road that Mader lived in. No one has been charged in the murder. 

Shortly after Mader's arrest in January, another of Mader's half brothers turned himself in to police with fears for his safety, because he believed people were following him.

Additionally, Lerfold told the court that the girlfriend of another of Mader's family members was killed in October of this year, apparently alluding to the Oct. 11 murder of Russia Nicholson, a death that remains unsolved.

Mader has what Lerfold called a “serious criminal record,” beginning in 2010 when he was convicted of manslaughter in the brutal 2005 killing of Jody Elliot. During the killing, Mader first shot Elliot in the leg and then beat him.

In Mader's 2010 conviction, he was referred to as a drug-addicted “foot soldier” involved in the "drug sub-culture," and was taking orders from another man.

Grant Fralic, the ringleader of the murder, was given a life sentence but is eligible to apply for parole this November. Robert Juker, who was also involved in the killing, was sentenced to eight and a half years in 2009, but died in August 2017. Ramoncito Viejon, the fourth man involved, was given 11 years for manslaughter.

Mader has since been convicted of assault with a weapon in 2012 and fleeing from police and possession of stolen property in 2015.

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