11.28.2008

TS - Gundersen's arraignment continued

☛ 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.