PARSIPPANY — A Hasbrouck Heights man pleaded guilty Friday to unlawful possession of a weapon, a second degree crime, in a case brought by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under the direction of Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.
William Wetzler Jr., 59, entered the plea before Judge Thomas Critchley in state Superior Court, Morristown.
Wetzler faces a three-year term in New Jersey State Prison with one year parole ineligibility when sentenced on August 18. The judge previously had sided with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in denying Wetzler’s request to enter the county’s Pretrial Intervention Program, which could have led to the charges being dismissed.
Wetzler admitted to bringing a loaded firearm, a Walther PPK/S .380-caliber handgun, to a coin show at the PAL Youth Center, 33 Baldwin Road, on May 1, 2016.
Wetzler had the gun in his pocket and it accidentally discharged. A bullet ricocheted off the floor and struck another individual at the show who was not injured.
Wetzler acknowledged in court that he did not have a New Jersey permit to legally carry a weapon.
The state’s case is being handled by Assistant Prosecutor Alexis Keller.