LOCKPORT - DeAndre L. Ingram of Lockport was sentenced Friday to three years in state prison for illegal gun possession, but he said he was just trying to protect himself.
Defense attorney Jenelle Messer said Ingram's brother and father both were homicide victims, and Ingram himself once was stabbed seven times in an attack by three men in his hometown of Cleveland.
"He thought the only way he would be safe was to carry a gun," Messer said. The handgun was found in the glove compartment of a car in which Ingram was a passenger when police stopped it Nov. 21, 2015, in the Town of Lockport.
Ingram, 31, of Clinton Street, admitted it was his gun and pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was barred from gun ownership because of a 2011 robbery conviction in Ohio.
"Self-preservation to me is important," Ingram told Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon. "I knew it was wrong, but at the time, it was more important to keep myself alive."