Elkhart man who held victims hostage with machete sentenced to 18 years in prison

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The Department of Justice calls him “a career criminal,” and now he’s headed to prison. 45 year-old Lawrence Hansford of Elkhart was sentenced to 18 years in prison. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm after a two-day jury trial in May of this year. Specifically, his sentence is for 216 months in prison followed by 4 years of supervised release. Court documents say he held several people hostage with a machete in February of 2020.

The following release about the case was sent to 95.3 MNC from U.S. District Court:

Lawrence Hansford, age 45, of Elkhart, Indiana was sentenced before United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm following a two-day jury trial in May of 2021, announced Acting United States Attorney Tina L. Nommay. 

Hansford was sentenced to 216 months in prison followed by 4 years of supervised release.

According to documents in this case, in February of 2020, Lawrence Hansford held several people hostage with a machete. When law enforcement responded, Hansford went to his camper and put the machete next to a 12-gauge shotgun inside. Law enforcement found both the 12-gauge shotgun and the machete in Hansford’s camper. Hansford’s prior convictions include battery resulting in bodily injury, second degree assault, burglary, and dealing methamphetamine.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the St. Joseph County Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jerome W. McKeever and Kimberly L. Schultz.  

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