MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — Prosecutors have dropped the felony charges against a Tennessee medical student who mistakenly brought a handgun to the World Trade Center site days before Christmas in exchange for a no-jail misdemeanor plea deal.
Meredith Graves pleaded guilty to misdemeanor weapons possession Monday, after accidentally carrying her licensed .22 caliber weapon from her home in Tennessee to Lower Manhattan Dec. 22. She was arrested trying to turn in her weapon to police when she realized her mistake.
Graves, who was in town to interview for a job at a local hospital, had faced a minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison if convicted of the felony criminal possession of a weapon charges.
"It's a disposition we think will allow her to get on with her life and career," her lawyer Daniel Horwitz said Monday.
"She's happy this is over and she's looking forward to getting on with her career as a doctor," the lawyer added.
Graves' misdemeanor plea will spare her from jail time as well as any community service.
Her arrest sparked a debate about the treatment of tourists who bring weapons that are licensed in other states into New York State. It inspired some local leaders to call for reform of the application of New York gun laws to tourists and visitors who may not be aware of the rules here.
Graves told authorities she forgot to leave the small .22 caliber at home and had asked where she could check it while she toured the 9/11 memorial.
Graves had been free on $2,000 bail since her arrest.