SLO County DA considering charges against man who found SLO police chief's gun

SLO County DA considering charges against man who found SLO police chief's gun

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office is considering filing charges against the man who found and took a firearm belonging to chief of the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Skeeter Magnan of Los Osos took the firearm from the bathroom of a San Luis Obispo restaurant. The gun was left behind by police chief Deanna Cantrell, leading to a city-wide search and a public apology by the chief. The gun was eventually recovered after Magnan's brother-in-law contacted police. 

The District Attorney's office is reviewing the case and may decide to charge Magnan for grand theft, possession of stolen property and carrying a loaded firearm in public. It's unclear at this time when a decision will be made regarding charges.

District Attorney Dan Dow released the following statement on the SLO County DA's Office Facebook page.

The District Attorney’s Office is obligated under law to review this investigation, and all of the evidence contained in the investigation, in order to make a determination of whether a crime was committed and whether there is sufficient evidence to prove the crime, and if so, whether it would be in the interest of justice to pursue charges. 

As in every case, Mr. Mangan is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The District Attorney’s Office has not taken a position in this matter and will not do so until our objective review has concluded. We remain firmly committed to performing our duty and conducting a thorough review of this law enforcement investigation in the same fashion we do with every (up to 14,000) criminal case referral we receive each year.

For her part, Chief Cantrell was docked a one-time pay deduction equivalent to a two-day suspension. She will also have to undergo training in firearm safety practices and will have to have personal discussions with all members of the Police Department about the incident and the "lessons learned that apply to all officers carrying firearms." The incident will also be documented in her personnel file. 

The handling of the incident as well as the punishment has drawn criticism from residents as well as accusations of a cover-up from a local website.

The city has denied an impropriety and insists the investigation was handled promptly and according to department standards. 

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