And Keat is left to answer questions. Gundersen, probation, the 11 Battery convictions dropped, pending rape charges dropped.
☛ TS Gundersen given probation for firearms convictions
A Humboldt County Superior Court judge sentenced former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen to four years probation Friday, for a pair of September convictions of illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer.
Gundersen faced a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in prison for the convictions, but Judge Bruce Watson found that unusual circumstances surrounded the convictions which would normally carry a presumption of ineligibility for probation.
Watson also ruled in favor of a defense motion seeking to set aside 11 misdemeanor battery convictions, ruling that the convictions were time-barred by statutes of limitations.
Prior to Friday's sentencing hearing, Gundersen was arraigned on a felony charge of grand theft by a public official and pleaded not guilty. He is due back in court next week.
In addition: After an April preliminary hearing, Gundersen was also held to stand trial on allegations that he raped his then live-in girlfriend in 1999 and acted unlawfully with department records, but a judge ruled those charges would be tried separately.
In court Friday, the District Attorney's Office also announced it will not proceed with those charges.
”My instructions are that the people don't intend to proceed with those counts, so I request that they be dismissed in the interest of justice,” Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat told the court.
☛ TS Gundersen's arraignment continued
Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's arraignment on a charge of felony grand theft was continued Wednesday to Dec. 10.
Gundersen, who stands accused of taking firearms out of Trinidad Police Department evidence and trading them, along with other guns, for a submachine gun and a silencer, pleaded not guilty to the charge at a court hearing last week.
Wednesday's arraignment was continued because the District Attorney's Office left the word “feloniously” off the criminal complaint it filed against Gundersen, which caused some confusion as to whether the theft was being charged as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat said that because the charge involves the theft of firearms, it can only be charged as a felony. The criminal complaint will be amended, Keat said, and the word “feloniously” will be included.
When Gundersen returns to court for his Dec. 10 arraignment, he will also tie up some loose ends from his previous case, which saw him convicted of illegally possessing both a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson sentenced Gundersen to four years probation for the charges, the terms and conditions of which will be set Dec. 10.
As to the new charges, Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said he has some concerns as to why the charges are only now surfacing more than six months after Gundersen's initial arrest -- concerns he said will be the subject of a motion in the near future.
◼ 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