BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — PEABODY — A Peabody man ordered to surrender his guns after threatening a woman in 2003 is heading to jail for 18 months after admitting that he never obeyed the order.
Sean King, 46, of 19 Gardner St. pleaded guilty to six counts of illegal possession of a gun and a seventh count of illegally possessing ammunition during a hearing yesterday in Peabody District Court, where his case had been set to go to trial next week.
Judge Richard Mori imposed the mandatory minimum 18-month jail term, which King will have to serve in full. But the judge agreed to delay the start of the jail term until Dec. 28, so that King can spend Christmas with his three young children.
Prosecutor Nat Sears told the judge that King’s collection came to light during a domestic dispute on Oct. 23, 2010, when King’s former wife called police. The couple were in the midst of a divorce at the time.
The woman told police that she was concerned about her safety because King owned several guns.
Police discovered that King’s gun license had been suspended after the 2003 Salem incident, in which he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman and threatened to shoot her, court records show.
But his wife told police that King still had a collection of at least five guns, including three handguns, a rifle and a shotgun.
Police went to the apartment on Andover Terrace where King had been staying and asked him about the guns. He told officers that he’d moved the collection to his aunt’s home in Londonderry, N.H., after the incident in 2003.
Police went back to King’s estranged wife, and she told them King had just called to berate her, telling her he would be going to jail for five years because of her.
Police began conducting surveillance on King and eventually saw him leave his apartment with a small bag about the size of a handgun, Sears told the judge.
An officer stopped the car, and King admitted that his guns were in the trunk. Police found four handguns, a shotgun and a rifle, Sears told the judge.
Defense lawyer James McCall urged Mori to impose only the minimum mandatory sentence, noting King’s military background, which Mori called “very impressive.”
Mori agreed to impose the minimum on each count and then ordered that they be served concurrently, or at the same time.
“I have little, actually, no discretion,” the judge said.
King has credit for about 60 days he spent in custody before being released on bail but will receive no other credit, such as so-called “good time,” and cannot seek parole.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.