[Gundersen is also the former chief of Trinidad Police Department and also worked for the Adelanto Police Department]
- February 17, 2008 - CA] Chief Gunderson 12-count cop-on-cop spousal rape charges - ...Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's ex-wife - a legal office assistant in the Sheriff's office - claimed in 1999 court records that Gundersen drugged her for unwanted sex. Now he faces 12 counts of raping his CURRENT wife - a Blue Lake Police sergeant... He also faces charges on 3 acts committed while in custody. One is threatening the witness, his wife - caught on a phone call - and planning places to hide...
- June 4, 2008 - [CA] Update on Chief Gunderson's wife-rape charges & guns, guns, guns - ...His attorney, Russell Clanton, contends that seeds of trouble were planted by the chief's former wife, now a Humboldt County sheriff's office dispatcher...
- August 14, 2008 - [CA] Cop dv victims in even more danger (and even more likely then to recant) - ...experts say it's not uncommon for victims to change their mind on pressing charges, or reinterpreting what they've said... They may have hope that the person they love will change... But the No. 1 reason, Lemon said, is the fear of retaliation... Those women are in more danger because the police will usually protect their own”...
- August 17, 2008 - [CA] Trial: Chief Gundersen's wife now says it was all lies - The trial for Blue Lake Police Chief Gundersen picks up again on August 25th. Here are excerpts from recent news, including a list that I extracted from the articles, given as the reasons why the Chief's wife Darcie now says she lied...
- August 27, 2008 - [CA] She was afraid she'd die if she didn't lie says ex-attorney for Chief Gundersen's wife - David Gundersen's wife feared the former Blue Lake Police Chief would kill her if she testified... ”she was petrified,” Griego continued, adding that he probably spoke to her about 100 times over two months. “She was shaking and in tears most of the time I talked to her”...
- October 28, 2008 - [CA] Ex-Chief Gundersen already in and back out of jail - for violating another court order... He also faces charges on 3 acts [allegedly] committed while in custody. One is threatening the witness, his wife - caught on a phone call - and planning places to hide. Gundersen is being kept in jail for safety of the victim... The chief's attorney, Arcata attorney Russell Clanton: "Frankly I think the position is that the state has put their nose into the bedroom of Chief Gundersen and his current wife"...
GUNDERSEN'S FELONIES REVERSED; appeals court finds court improperly instructed 2008 jury
03/18/2012 02:39:44 AM PDT
A California appellate court has reversed a pair of 2008 felony firearms convictions against David Gundersen, leaving the possibility that the former Blue Lake Police chief will face another trial... On Sept. 24, 2008 - after a two-month trial in which Gundersen faced more than two dozen criminal counts - a jury convicted him of 14 charges. Of those, only a misdemeanor conviction of violating a court order stands today... Ultimately, in the 2008 trial, Gundersen faced two-dozen charges of spousal rape with the use of an intoxicant, charges of illegally possessing a submachine gun and a pistol with a silencer, and violating a court order... Gundersen was sentenced to four years probation and time served. On Thursday, the appeals court ruled that Watson erred in not fully instructing the jury that exceptions apply to the firearms offenses that allow law enforcement officers to possess the weapons within the scope of their duties. Watson didn't, the appellate ruling stated, explicitly tell the jury it was the prosecution's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Gundersen's case did not fit those exceptions... [Full article here]
EX-BLPD CHIEF GUNDERSEN CLEARED OF ALL FELONIES
The Arcata Eye
Kevin L. Hoover
Friday, March 16, 2012
[Excerpts] Former Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen has been cleared of all major charges first filed against him in 2008. Gundersen was originally charged with eight felonies, including spousal rape, witness tampering, possession of a machine gun and a silencer. He was also charged with three misdemeanors, including violation of a court order, possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized disclosure of information. The rape charge and two of the misdemeanors were dismissed. After a jury trial in September, 2008, Gundersen was found guilty of the submachine gun and silencer possession felonies, plus a misdemeanor charge of violating a court order. He was also found guilty of 11 misdemeanor charges of battery over surreptitious photographs taken of his ex-wife and BLPD colleague, Darcy Seal, when she was asleep. But those charges were later tossed out due to the statute of limitations. The single misdemeanor charge of violating a court order was not appealed, and still stands. Gundersen was sentenced to two concurrent two-year terms, which were suspended. He was placed on four years probation and sentenced to 354 days in county jail but got credit for time served, which accounted for all but a few days of the sentence. He appealed the two weapons charges in December, 2008. On Thursday, March 15, a state appeals court overturned the two felony convictions. Gundersen had contended that Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles failed to adequately instruct the jury about exemptions in state law that allow regular, salaried, full-time police officers to possess machine guns and silencers. He claimed that his possession the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun and silencer were within the scope of his duties... The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office could re-file the charges... [Full article here]
JANE DOE 1,
Blue Lake police sergeant Darcie Seal, then-wife of Gundersen, who asked later in case that her name be used publicly
- Apr 24 2008 - ..."Jane Doe 1" finished testimony today, clarifying why she didn’t report the alleged non-consensual sex by Gundersen... Doe 1 made it clear that it was never her intention to press charges on Gundersen. She also said she "felt coerced" by the several people at Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to make statements she would otherwise not have made during a seven-hour interview. Doe 1 had fears about coming forward about alleged non-consensual sex that occurred while she and Gundersen dealt with marital problems, starting in late 2005... Doe 1 testified that she feared for her safety when talking with HCSO, but her fears "became worse because of what was said to me during the interview." At one point, Doe 1 recalled being told that Gundersen would take her "fishing." Doe 1 said she interpreted it as "he was going to take me fishing and hurt me." During the second interview with investigators from the district attorney’s office, Doe 1 testified that they claimed she committed felonies that she hadn’t. She said she feared prosecution and going to prison. "You’d like to avoid going to prison wouldn’t you?" Gundersen’s attorney Russell Clanton said. "Of course," she said...
- May 6, 2008 - ...At the city council meeting, City Attorney Richard Platz also announced the resignation of the police department's remaining supervisor, Sgt. Darcie Seals. Seals had a claim against the city, which was settled by the city's insurance company. The settlement cost the city $5,000, who said he could not reveal any details about the claim because it is a personnel matter...
- Aug 14 2008 - During a tense day of testimony Thursday at David Gundersen’s trial, wife Darcie Seal recanted almost all of her previous statements she made that referred to wrongdoing by her husband... [District Attorney Paul] Gallegos asked Seal if she thought investigators would take her allegations as a joke, as she testified that she tried to tell everyone she was being sarcastic... "What part of the joke made you cry?"
- As a "cure” to get him out of the house.
- To get him out of her life. She says she "didn't think it was at all serious."
- She had emotional stress from raising four kids & being a cop.
- She had mental stress from marital problems.
- Rape claim was just her being sarcastic.
- She was set up to lie by her husband's ex-wife as a part of a plot.
- Had no idea she was being recorded
- Investigators convinced her it was rape
- She was just "pissed off and talking... I say things I don't mean."
JANE DOE 2,
woman Gundersen said he'd train into police work, started a relationship and moved in with. According to Jane 2 she didn't know his divorce was not finalized and did not know until records were produced at trial, that she was never actually employed by the police department - though she participated in police actions.
- Apr 22 2008 - The first person to testify in the hearing was "Jane Doe No. 2," who alleges that Gundersen raped her after forcing her into their bedroom in March 1999... She said Gundersen offered her an undercover job with the Trinidad Police Department, where he was chief at the time... "He offered to train me"... she testified that at some point she and Gundersen started dating and eventually moved in together. In March 1999, she testified, Gundersen forced her to have sex after an argument... Jane Doe No. 2 said that three children were in the house that night – her child and two of Gundersen’s children... Jane Doe No. 2 testified, Gundersen grabbed her, forced her into the bedroom, tore up her clothes and raped her. She said she reported the incident to the Eureka Police Department because she feared the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would do nothing ... As far as she knew, she said, nothing happened regarding her report...
- Apr 22 2008 - ...At first, testimony revolved around Doe 2’s employment at two local police departments... Doe 2 testified that she worked at both the Trinidad and Blue Lake Police Departments. While working with TPD, she testified that she joined in several operations with other agencies. One assignment she described involved TPD, BLPD and the Arcata Police Department... According to public record requests made by The Eureka Reporter, the real name of Doe 2 does not show up in both TPD and BLPD employment records...
- Apr 24 2008 - ...Lt. Len Johnson talked with Doe 2, according to court documents. When interviewed by Hislop, Johnson vaguely recalled the encounter, but couldn’t remember specifics...
EPD reportedly didn't follow up on 1999 rape report
John Driscoll and Thadeus Greenson
Jane Doe 2 testified Monday at Blue Lake Police Chief David Gundersen's preliminary hearing that she reported to the Eureka Police Department in 1999 that Gundersen raped her, but the department never followed up on the claims.
Under the questioning of District Attorney Paul Gallegos, Doe testified that Gundersen forcibly raped her in March 1999 while they were living together with plans of marrying. Doe said she reported the rape to both a local advocacy group and EPD.
Doe testified that she contacted EPD because she knew Gundersen's then wife worked at the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, which would have had jurisdiction over the alleged McKinleyville rape, and she consequently feared the department would not follow up on her report.
A Computer Aided Dispatch call record contained in Gundersen's court file, indicates that Doe called EPD at about 2:30 p.m. on March 26, 1999. Len Johnson, now a lieutenant with the department, spent about 45 minutes with Doe, according to the record, but did not file a report.
In testimony Monday, Doe said Johnson told her he would follow up on the matter.
”He said at the very least his chief would talk to then-Chief Gundersen, and they would investigate it,” Doe testified, adding that she never heard back from EPD on the matter.
A District Attorney's Office Investigation Report in Gundersen's file indicates that Chief Investigator Mike Hislop contacted Johnson and asked him about Doe's call.
”He reviewed the (Computer Aided Dispatch) report and could not recall any specifics or what (Doe) had contacted him about,” the report states.
Johnson declined to comment for this story, saying the subject is part of an ongoing case in which he expects to be subpoenaed to testify.
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