The father of the teen who killed four classmates at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state last fall was convicted yesterday in federal court of illegally possessing a half-dozen firearms, including the one his son used in the shooting, reports the Seattle Times. Raymond Lee Fryberg Jr. was convicted of six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm. One of the firearms, a .40-caliber Beretta pistol, was used by Jaylen Fryberg, 15, to kill four classmates and wound a fifth. Jaylen then killed himself with the same handgun. The senior Fryberg appeared stunned by the verdict. Fryberg's attorney, John Henry Browne, said the charges were retaliation for the school killings and had been “pushed by the families” of the victims.
While the school shooting was never mentioned during the trial, Browne said it hung over the proceedings like a pall. Prosecutors began their closing arguments with a slideshow of the six firearms Fryberg had purchased, including the handgun used by his son. “This was clearly piling on by the government,” said Browne, who intends to appeal. A grand jury charged that the senior Fryberg, a member of the Tulalip Tribes, purchased firearms despite being the subject of a tribal domestic-violence protective order. Fryberg, 42, pleaded no contest in tribal court to violating the order. The government says that should have prevented him from purchasing firearms, but that flaws in the instant-background-check system allowed him to “slip under the screen” of several law-enforcement databases. Prosecutors said Fryberg lied when he filled out firearms-purchase forms on which he declared, under penalty of perjury, that he had not been convicted of a domestic-violence crime.