Nashua man who accidentally shot father sentenced to federal time on gun charge

Dale White sentenced to nearly 4 years

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A 24-year-old Nashua man, who killed his father in January by accidentally discharging a rifle, was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison on Wednesday for a gun charge stemming from the tragic event.

Dale White pleaded guilty in April to one count of possession of firearm and ammunition by a prohibited person in U.S. District Court.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade sentenced him to 47 months in prison. He was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after serving his prison time.

Court documents show White and his father Karl White were handling a loaded .22 caliber Magtech Model 7022 rifle in the living room of the Nashua residence they shared when the gun accidentally discharged on Jan. 2.

Karl White died of a gunshot wound to the head and the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death was accidental, court records show.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Williams said this case is why the law prohibits drug users to have guns because it can lead to dangerous behavior, resulting in “tragic” events. She added that White’s father’s death is the direct result of criminal actions.

Court documents show White admitted to investigators that he regularly used marijuana and methamphetamine.

U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade pointed out White tested positive for meth and marijuana after his arrest.

Williams argued for an enhancement level that would increase the prison term based on the number of guns found in the house. The guns were located throughout the common areas of the home, many in plain view and some were in White’s and his father’s bedroom. She argued he had knowledge of all of them and had control over them, as they were in the home where he lived.

Jill Johnston, White’s lawyer, argued he shouldn’t be held responsible for all of the guns because they all didn’t belong to him. She also argued for less time, saying the tragic death of his father had been punishment enough and she asked for time served, probation or less than 47 months, which is the least amount of prison time within the guidelines.

Before Reade sentenced White, he said he “accepted responsibility for his actions and appreciate your time.”

Reade noted the rifle discharged had a high capacity magazine and there were eight handguns, 21 rifles and 20 shotguns found in the house, but she was only holding White responsible for guns in his bedroom and common areas. She didn’t say how many guns were found there.

“This is the natural consequence of using drugs and possessing firearms,” Reade said. “This tragic accident was 100 percent preventable.”

Reade said she was also running this sentence consecutively to any conviction he may receive in Chickasaw County District Court. White is charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

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