A Marine sergeant facing a three-year mandatory prison term on a gun charge had his sentence commuted Friday by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, WABC reported.
Sgt. Hisashi Pompey's conviction will stand, but the penalty is gone. Additionally, a full pardon remains under review, WABC reported.
“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, this isn't April Fools, right?” Pompey told WABC. "I don't know how to react. I'm grateful, grateful.”
He was due to report to prison on Monday.
Six years ago during a visit to New Jersey, Pompey was at a Fort Lee nightclub when his friend got involved in a fight and grabbed Pompey's gun out of his holster and carried it into a confrontation with police.
No shots were fired. The friend was arrested but so was Pompey. While his gun was legally registered in Virginia, he had no New Jersey permit. Police charged him with unlawful possession of a handgun, WABC reported.
To fight gang violence, New Jersey lawmakers tacked on mandatory sentences for gun-related offenses several years ago, WABC reported.
It did not matter that Pompey had served three tours of duty as a military police sergeant in Iraq and Afghanistan: the law prescribed a mandatory sentence until Christie commuted Pompey’s jail time. Christie has the option of issuing a full pardon and expunging the crime from his record, WUSA reported.
"I'm not a troublemaker. I don't cause trouble. I don't do anything bad, it was just a common mistake that I made," Pompey told WABC.