Public Safety

Marion man convicted for having stolen gun after assaulting woman

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Marion man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court for illegally having a stolen gun after being arrested for assaulting a woman with the gun and forcing his way into a neighbor’s home.

Gage F. Skola, 28, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He admitted during the hearing to having a Ruger Blackhawk revolver and having a previous conviction of second-degree domestic assault in Missouri in 2012.

Skola was arrested after a woman told police Skola hit her in the back of the head, causing her to bleed during an argument Feb. 10. She told police she ran from the house they share and went to neighbor’s house to call police.

The neighbor, who called 911, told police Skola forced his way into his house and displayed a large, silver handgun, court documents show. Skola pointed the gun at the woman’s head and then his own as he stated there was “going to be a double homicide,” the neighbor told police.

The neighbor said he was able to get the gun from Skola and Skola ran out the door. The neighbor then put the gun in a cabinet, and officers seized it when they arrived. It was a silver Ruger .44- caliber revolver, according to court documents.

Early the next day, Feb. 11, the neighbor called Marion police and reported Skola was back at his residence. When officers arrived they arrested him, court documents show. During an interview, Skola told police he drank a bottle of whiskey the day of the assault and he didn’t remember anything after drinking it.

He denied having a gun because he said he wasn’t allowed based on his criminal history.

U.S. Chief Magistrate CJ Williams told Skola he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and could face more depending on previous felony convictions.

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Skola also is charged for this same incident in Linn County District Court with assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, domestic abuse, and third-degree theft. Skola is accused of hitting the woman in the head with the Ruger, which was also stolen, on Feb. 10 in Marion, a criminal complaint shows.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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