Man Convicted of PFMA of Jermaine Charlo Sentenced on Gun Crimes
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On Thursday, September 21, 30-year-old Michael DeFrance was sentenced to 21 months in prison by Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula Federal Court on multiple firearms charges.
DeFrance was previously convicted in 2013 of misdemeanor Partner of Family Member Assault against Jermaine Charlo, who went missing in 2018.
Detective Guy Baker is Still Searching for the Missing Jermaine Charlo
Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker, who has been actively investigating the whereabouts of Jermaine Charlo, spoke to KGVO News following the announcement of DeFrance’s felony firearms conviction.
“Today (Thursday) was sentencing in relation to the conviction in U.S. District Court that Mr. DeFrance had from April of 2023,” began Detective Baker. “So it was the federal case that was the result of the investigation that I've been actively working on for the last 63 months into the disappearance of Jermaine Charlo.”
U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich on the Firearms Conviction
According to the U.S. Attorney for the State of Montana, Jesse Laslovich, DeFrance was convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, in addition to three counts of making false statements during a firearms transaction.
“When it was determined that he had firearms illegally in his possession due to his previous conviction, we prosecuted him, and then as a result of a trial a few months ago, he was convicted by a jury in Missoula,” said Laslovich. “And then just today he was sentenced to 21 months in prison for those convictions.”
On August 2, 2021, DeFrance appeared in Missoula Federal Court on felony firearms charges. Outside the federal courthouse that day, Valinda Morigeau, Jermaine Charlo’s aunt, spoke to reporters and explained why several of Charlo’s family members were present at the hearing.
“I'm here because he was the last person to see Jermaine before she disappeared, and our family believes Michael is the one that is responsible for her disappearance,” said Morigeau.
Detective Baker said that he has been actively investigating the disappearance of Jermaine Charlo for over five years and he is convinced that someone, somewhere knows what happened to her and encouraged them to come forward to bring closure to the Charlo family, and to all of western Montana.
Detective Baker asks Anyone with Information to Come Forward
“Someone knows what happened to Jermaine Charlo,” said Detective Baker. “People don't disappear, usually, in circumstances like this without someone knowing something. So I really encourage anyone who has any information to come forward. Even something that a person might have thought was insignificant at the time could be the piece of the puzzle that would help break the case. So, if anyone knows anything about Jermaine or what happened to her, please give me (Detective Guy Baker) a call at 406-396-3217 or call your local law enforcement agency if you're not in the Missoula area.”
Because DeFrance was convicted of the firearms crime in federal court, U.S. Attorney, Laslovich told KGVO News that he will serve the entire sentence, as there is no parole in the federal system.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Helena stated that Charlo and DeFrance had been in an intimate relationship and that Charlo had stayed in a camper with DeFrance on property belonging to the DeFrance family.
DeFrance has not been arrested or charged with Jermaine Charlo’s disappearance, and if he is charged, he would be considered innocent until proven guilty.