Southeast Texas man who carried AR-15 through mall in 2013 found not guilty of disorderly conduct

BEAUMONT - A Jefferson County jury has found a Southeast Texas man not guilty of disorderly conduct for carrying an assault-style rifle through Parkdale Mall in 2013.

Derek Poe was found not guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct last week in Judge Kent Walston's 58th Distric Court in Beaumont according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

District attorney Bob Wortham told 12News that a lot of the evidence in the three and a half year-old case was not retrieveable so prosecutors had to go with what they had.

Wortham did have a message for Poe saying "If he carries that gun into a place like a movie theater in the future, he will be charged again."

Poe posted a photo of the AR-15, a police evidence tag still hanging from the trigger guard, on his Facebook page just after midnight Sunday saying "Nice to have her back."

The rifle had been held as evidence in the case since early 2014 when it was seized by police.

Poe, an Army veteran, was charged after he was seen walking through the mall with an AR-15 slung across his back on December 28, 2013.

He told police he was exercising his second amendment rights as he walked to the tactical shop he ran in the mall at the time.

Beaumont Police seized the gun and charged him because they say he displayed the gun "in a manner calculated to alarm" though Poe denied it saying the barrel was pointed down and that his hands were not on the gun.

Detectives said at the time that several witnesses said they were terrified and at least one said they were afraid they were about to die when they saw Poe walking through the mall with the rifle on his back.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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