HOUSTON — A grand jury has decided there’s insufficient evidence to merit felony charges against a man arrested early New Year’s Eve and who had several guns and ammunition in his room at a Houston hotel that hosts one of the city’s largest New Year’s parties.

A judge also ordered police Wednesday to return a shotgun, pistol and rifle to 49-year-old Russell Ziemba.

Police said the suburban Houston man smelled of alcohol and was arrested after refusing to leave the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel. A search of his room turned up the guns. He told officers they were there because he didn’t want them stolen from his truck.

His lawyer, Danny Easterling, tells the Houston Chronicle Ziemba was just drinking at the hotel and there was “zero evidence of bad intent.”

Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.