Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 2 and 3 of Gundersen trial - UPDATED


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012


Day Two

☛ TS Gundersen's wife held for her safety, investigators testify
In his second day on the stand, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Detective Troy Garey testified he believed Seal was afraid of Gundersen based on his hour-long interview with her on the morning of Feb. 8. He also testified that Gundersen repeatedly called Seal during the interview, and investigators had reason to fear for Seal's safety if she left the premises.

District Attorney's Office Chief Investigator Mike Hislop also testified he believed Seal may have been in danger if she left the main station and that law enforcement consequently did not allow her to leave until after Gundersen's arrest, which occurred at about 6 p.m....

Garey went on to testify that he believed Seal was in an emotionally and mentally fragile state on the day in question and he took that into account in the way he dealt with her during the interview.

”She was fragile,” he said. “It's like handling an egg, you don't want to do anything to push people over the top.”

Garey said it was “somewhat surprising” to find later that day that Seal refused a Sexual Assault Response Team exam at the hospital and was saying she now felt the sex she had told investigators was nonconsensual was consensual and did not constitute rape. Garey testified Seal's changing story was in line with what he had been trained to expect in sexual assault cases.

☛ ER Day 2 of Gundersen trial
When he agreed to the contact, Gundersen’s attorney, Russell Clanton, who read from a transcript, said Gundersen asked Seal, “Why did you do this?”

“They totally bullied me, Dave,” Seal said.

“What do you mean they bullied you?” he said.

“I’m dropping all the charges on Monday,” she said. “I want to spend the $50,000 to get you out.”

The communications between Seal and Gundersen after his arrest are the source of two charges against him, one for violating an emergency protective order and another for trying to dissuade a witness.

Day Three

☛ TS Gundersen jury sees interview video
The wife of former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen took the stand this morning in her husband's trial on charges of spousal rape, testifying that Gundersen never had sex with her against her will and that she lied to investigators....

...After Seal testified that Gundersen had never engaged in nonconsensual sex with her and that she had been “sarcastic” and made untrue statements to investigators on the day of her husband's arrest, District Attorney Paul Gallegos moved to show the jury a video recording of Seal's interview with investigators.

After Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson granted the request, the jury was shown the beginning portion of the hour-and-a-half-long interview. In the portion shown to the jury, Seal makes repeated references to Gundersen having raped her, expresses fear for her safety and says that Gundersen threatened to kill her.

The jury is expected to view the remainder of the video when the trial resumes tomorrow before Seal re-takes the stand....

☛ TS Gundersen's wife takes the stand, says she lied to investigators
Seal sat in the courtroom's first row Wednesday, about 10 feet behind her husband, as the prosecution played the video in which Seal repeatedly uses the word “rape” to describe Gundersen's acts, even saying that he'd confessed about a week earlier that he'd been raping her while she was asleep.

”He just said that he -- he confessed to raping (his ex-wife) and confessed to raping me and said he was sorry,” Seal told investigators in the video. “Just him acknowledging it was pretty awesome to me -- that he admitted to it.”

During the portion of the interview shown Wednesday, Seal repeatedly tells investigators that her husband has had nonconsensual sex with her hundreds of times since 2005 while she was under the influence of Lunesta or marijuana, and that she had confronted him and asked him to stop but he wouldn't. She says numerous times that she considers it rape, at one point even saying she told Gundersen “people go to prison for this for a long time.”

In the video, she also told the investigators Gundersen had threatened to kill her and had recently told her he wanted to “put a gun to his head.”

After hearing Seal tell them that Gundersen raped her, followed her and threatened to “take her fishing,” Hanson, Morey and Garey expressed concerns for Seal's safety and asked her how she would like them to proceed.

”I was really hoping you could have the leverage to make him leave,” Seal said.

”We can't force him to leave, you know that,” Hanson later told Seal.

”Can I?” she asked.

”Yes, if you file this criminal report,” Hanson answered.

In the video, Seal agrees to have the investigators prepare an Emergency Protective Order to keep Gundersen away from her, but seems unsure whether she wants him to be charged or whether she wants the District Attorney's Office involved. At one point she asks investigators if it's something she needed to decide that day, or if she can sleep on it....

☛ TS Experts say victims often recant out of fear, love
While not commenting directly on Gundersen's case, experts say it's not uncommon for victims to change their mind on pressing charges, or reinterpreting what they've said.

”People have very mixed emotions. ... Some people are ready to go forward on day one, but then not ready to go a day later,” said Nancy Lemon, a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School of Law and a domestic violence expert witness.
She said victims of domestic violence change their testimony, or recant, for different reasons.

They may have hope that the person they love will change, outside pressures from family or clergy who don't believe in divorce, financial dependence, or they want to keep a father figure for their children, she said.

But the No. 1 reason, Lemon said, is the fear of retaliation....

☛ ER Wife's testimony conflicts with video LINK is down


Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012



  1. "Held for her own safety"???

    It used to be called "False imprisonment". No wonder the HCSD is totally useless at enforcing the law and appears to be little more than a political tool for Gags.
    Incidentally, the felon/trespasser/shooter/grower in the above linked posting had a valid restraining order against him which the "deputies" declined to enforce.

    Link up

  3. This is almost comical.

    I hope PVG is done in time for the August 26th hearing on the Douglas/Zanotti case. It would be a shame if he made one of the underling's stand in for him using the Gunderson case as an excuse.


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