◼ Grand theft charge dismissed against former Blue Lake police chief
The grand theft case that followed former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's 2008 acquittal on spousal rape and weapons charges has been dismissed by a Humboldt County Superior Court judge....
The trial on the grand theft case was delayed several times -- in part due to Gundersen's apparently serious health problem -- and on Friday, Judge Bruce Watson dismissed the matter.
Gundersen's attorney Russell Clanton said that it was inappropriate that the case had gone forward at all. He said that District Attorney Paul Gallegos only filed it after Gundersen was acquitted in the other case.
”Filing this case was just sour grapes,” Clanton said, “that's all it was.”
Watson was acting on a Kellett motion filed by Clanton. The Kellett rule holds that all offenses that flow from the same act must be charged together.
Gallegos said that his office was not aware of Trinidad law enforcement's investigation into the alleged grand theft until after Gundersen's earlier case was closed.
”There were no sour grapes,” Gallegos said. “Frankly, what there was evidence of a crime that was brought too late.”
He said that Gundersen had no factual defense -- that he stole the guns from Trinidad. Gallegos said that his office did not oppose Clanton's motion because of Gundersen's health, which called into question whether he would ever be tried....
(Prior to this) The jury in that case acquitted Gundersen of 24 counts of rape and convicted him of 11 counts of misdemeanor battery, which were set aside due to the statute of limitations.
The district attorney's office filed the grand theft charge weeks after the case wrapped up....
◼ Links to GUNDERSEN coverage
◼ Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. - Arcata Eye MARCH 2012