Michael DeFrance, the ex-boyfriend of missing woman Jermain Charlo, has been sentenced to 21 months in federal custody. The case has involved legal complexities surrounding firearms charges and Charlo’s relationship with DeFrance. In May, DeFrance was acquitted of all four charges, including prohibited possession of firearms and ammunition and making false statements during a firearms transaction.
Although the firearms case is not directly linked to Charlo’s disappearance, it stemmed from searches conducted at DeFrance’s home shortly after she went missing. During the trial, evidence was presented regarding the relationship between Charlo and DeFrance, including their two children together.
U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen sentenced DeFrance to 21 months for each charge, to be served concurrently. Following his prison term, DeFrance will be under three years of supervised release and is permanently prohibited from owning guns and ammunition.
Charlo’s family has long believed that DeFrance played a role in her disappearance, although he has not been named a suspect by lead investigator Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker. Charlo’s family expressed frustration with the outcome, stating that it falls short of the justice they had hoped for.
DeFrance’s defense attorney, Michael Donahoe, indicated that an appeal would be pursued. Donahoe had previously filed motions challenging the specificity of the domestic violence charge that led to DeFrance’s prohibited person status.
The missing person’s case of Jermain Charlo remains active, and her family vows to continue searching for her.