☛ TS Gundersen faces new charge
The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office filed a new criminal complaint against former Blue Lake Police Chief David Ray Gundersen on Thursday, alleging one felony count of theft by a public official.
”The new charge arises from alleged misconduct, also involving firearms, uncovered in an investigation by the Trinidad Police Department,” Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat wrote in an e-mail to the Times-Standard.
Gundersen was acquitted of two dozen spousal rape charges in September, but convicted on 11 lesser counts of battery, a count of violating a court order and two felony charges of illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer.
He is due to be sentenced on those convictions at a hearing today, when a judge is also expected to hear oral arguments over a defense motion seeking a retrial and the dismissal of some of the convictions. Keat said Gundersen will also be arraigned on the new charge during today's court appearance.
Rather than follow Trinidad's charging recommendations, the DA's Office opted to instead charge a sole felony grand theft count for all the Trinidad firearms involved in the alleged Cinema Weaponry trade. The evidence tampering charges weren't pursued, likely due to the statute of limitations for misdemeanor charges.
If convicted on the felony grand theft charge, Gundersen would face a maximum of three years in prison.
On the issue of his prior case, his attorney Clanton filed a motion on Nov. 12 alleging that jury errors, insufficient evidence, issues with statutes of limitations and improper argument and questioning by District Attorney Paul Gallegos resulted in prejudiced jury verdicts that should be thrown out or, at least, retried.
In a four-page response, Keat argues that the verdicts are supported by evidence and that Clanton's statute of limitations argument is ill timed, and should have come during jury instructions.
”The defendant's motion is without merit,” Keat concludes in the filed response....
...Gallegos is currently out of the office for the week, but Keat said the DA's Office will be prepared to have Gundersen arraigned today, and will argue that his convictions should stand....
◼ Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief
◼ Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012