TS - Gundersen hearing pushed to April

Gundersen hearing pushed to April

Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's preliminary hearing has been postponed -- again.

Gundersen was arrested Feb. 8 and has since pleaded not guilty to 19 counts, including allegations of spousal rape, kidnapping a second victim for the purpose of committing forcible rape, possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer, and violating a court order. He's being held in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on $1.25 million bail.

Russell Clanton, Gundersen's attorney, said the defense requested a continuance at a Wednesday hearing because the District Attorney's Office had yet to provide it with all the case's discovery -- a court term for the exchange of information between the attorneys involved in a case.

”We want to be prepared, so when we do have this preliminary hearing all the issues can be explored comprehensively, and we can't do that without the discovery,” Clanton said.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Thursday he believes his office has turned over all the discovery related to Gundersen's charges to Clanton, but added that the investigation is ongoing.

”What is outstanding is an ongoing investigation,” Gallegos said. “Other than that, he has what we have.”

The preliminary hearing was initially set for Feb. 27, but was rescheduled to March 3 after Gallegos filed more charges in the case that morning. Appearing on the March 3 date, Clanton asked the court for another continuance ue to a lack of discovery provided by the prosecution.

Gallegos assured the court March 3 he would provide all discovery as quickly as possible.

Thursday, Clanton said some discovery had come in, but he believed more had yet to arrive. Court minutes from Wednesday's hearing state that the District Attorney's Office said it would be able to provide all discovery by Monday or Tuesday.

”I'm going to take Gallegos at his word,” Clanton said Thursday, adding that the discovery is necessary to prepare to defend his client at the preliminary hearing.

”We're looking forward to addressing all the factors of this case,” Clanton continued, “but it would be imprudent to go into the preliminary hearing without all the discovery.”

Gallegos said Thursday that Clanton has all the necessary discovery.

”The stuff Gundersen is charged with, (Clanton) has all the discovery to substantiate that,” he said.

Thadeus Greenson The Times-Standard
Article Launched: 03/14/2008 01:24:22 AM PDT

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