John Edward Porter, the father of a 15-year-old accused of fatally shooting a classmate at Lamar High School, has been sentenced to more than six years (77 months) in federal prison for a gun crime, according to an announcement made by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.
Porter, aged 50, was charged in March and pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman handed down the sentence of 77 months in federal prison on Thursday.
Court documents reveal that shortly after Porter's son allegedly opened fire at Lamar High School on March 20, fatally shooting one student and injuring another, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Mr. Porter’s apartment.
During the search, Arlington Police Department officers and ATF agents recovered multiple firearms and paperwork for the shotgun used in the shooting. Investigators also discovered that Mr. Porter had prior felony convictions, which legally prohibited him from owning or possessing firearms.
With the assistance of ATF and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas, federal charges were filed against Mr. Porter for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
Inside Mr. Porter’s home, agents found paperwork for a Mossberg, model 500, 12-gauge shotgun, the same type of firearm recovered from the scene of the shooting. A trace revealed that a relative of Mr. Porter had purchased the gun for him.
Additionally, in Mr. Porter’s bedroom, agents discovered a Smith & Wesson .357 gauge revolver, a Glock .40 caliber pistol, and a Smith & Wesson M&P .556 caliber rifle.
Mr. Porter, who had previously been convicted of first-degree robbery and sexual battery in Louisiana in 1996, was legally barred from possessing firearms. He admitted to possessing all four guns, including the Mossberg.
Records indicated that Mr. Porter had attempted to purchase firearms from licensed dealers in 2014 and 2020, but was denied after background checks flagged his prior felony convictions.
Mr. Porter's son, the accused shooter in the Lamar High School incident, has been charged by the state with murder and aggravated assault; and is currently in the juvenile court system, where he is awaiting trial. Opening arguments for the teen's trial are set to begin on Sept. 18.
The Arlington Police Department issues the following statement:
"We want to thank our federal partners for their outstanding efforts on this case. We hope it sends a clear message that we will not hesitate to investigate -- and if appropriate, file criminal charges against individuals who are illegally possessing firearms or making firearms accessible to people who use them to commit crimes. "Our goal -- and we hope the goal of all responsible gun owners -- is to make sure that guns don't fall into the hands of people who should not have them."