Sunday, Dec 8, 2013
Special Prosecutor Takes Carbondale Police Chief's Missing Gun Case
CARBONDALE -- After more than two years of investigating the Carbondale Police Chief's missing gun case, no one's been charged with stealing it. Now, the case has been turned over to a special prosecutor.
Chief Jody O'Guinn said the gun was taken from his personal car in June of 2011, but the case turned controversial after records show he waited a week to report the theft and it was filed under an animal control complaint.
Then, the weapon was used in a deadly shooting three months later. Matthew Jones pleaded guilty to shooting and killing 20-year-old Deaunta Spencer. Another man, Jewlious Causey, was convicted of providing the stolen gun to Spencer.
O'Guinn was ultimately cleared of wrong-doing after a city investigation.
"The victim in the case is the chief of police. It was his gun that was taken," says Jackson County State's Attorney Mike Carr.
Carr was not in office during the case. He says the Jackson County Sheriff's Office recently asked him about its on-going investigation into the theft and he decided he would call in a special prosecutor
"I deal with the chief. I can see that because of my role in this office and his role in that office, that that is something, even though he is a victim in that case, that for appearance purposes, I shouldn't be involved with," Carr explains.
It's at least the second time this year Carr has called for a special prosecutor in a case involving the Carbondale police. Just last month, he turned over the investigation of the Molly Young case.
Young died in March of 2012 at the apartment of a Carbondale police dispatcher. Her death was ruled undetermined, but her family calls it a homicide.
Carr says he hopes by relinquishing control of these cases, many of the corruption rumors will be put to rest.
"My hope is that the public will become convinced that the same decision is being made on a rational, logical basis."
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office would not comment on progress of the gun theft case or whether charges are imminent.
Ed Parkinson with the state's Special Prosecution Unit will take on both the Molly Young and missing gun cases.
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