Rocky’s courtload lightened

-A A +A

13 of 14 counts against Houston dropped by federal prosecutors

By Damon Lawrence



Rocky Houston got a big boost before his federal trial got underway in Knoxville on Tuesday.

Houston was charged with 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

Before the potential jurors were brought in for questioning, the government moved to dismiss 13 of the counts, leaving just one charge for the jury to consider.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jennings said the dismissals were done to achieve judicial economy.

U.S. District Court Judge Danny Reeves said he expected the trial to take two or three days to complete, ending Thursday.

During jury questioning, Jennings said the government must prove three elements: Did Houston possess firearms, did the firearms travel in interstate commerce, and was Houston a convicted felon at the time of the alleged possession?

Houston was convicted of felony evading arrest in Roane County Criminal Court in 2010.

A federal grand jury indicted Houston on Jan. 15, 2013, on 14 counts of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

The alleged possession occurred between October 2012 and January 2013.

Court proceedings were stopped early in the afternoon Tuesday because of icy roads and expected to pick up again late Wednesday morning.