Jury finds Raphael Ulisses Gurneau guilty of Felony Ineligible Possession of a Firearm, Felony Second Degree Assault, and gross misdemeanor Obstructing Legal Process
June 1, 2021
Cass County Attorney Ben Lindstrom reports:
On May 27, 2021 a Cass County Jury found Raphael Ulisses Gurneau guilty of felony Ineligible Possession of a Firearm, felony Second Degree Assault, and gross misdemeanor Obstructing Legal Process.
During the trial, Officers with the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department testified that law enforcement responded to a residence in Cass County on October 14, 2020 to investigate a disturbance. An Officer arrived and was let into the home and directed to a back bedroom. The Officer announced himself and knocked on the bedroom door. When the door opened, Gurneau presented himself holding a rifle. Gurneau is not eligible to possess firearms. When instructed to drop the rifle, Gurneau told the Officer "no" and disappeared from the Officer's view.
Upon re-emerging, Gurneau was no longer holding the rifle and did not comply with commands to get down on the floor. The Officer then grabbed Gurneau and brought him to the ground where he was handcuffed. The firearm was located and a round of ammunition was ejected from it by the Officer.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 6, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, Ineligible Possession of a Firearm carries a presumptive 60-month commitment to prison, regardless of criminal history. Sentencing on the Second Degree Assault will depend on factors to be determined after the receipt of a pre-sentence investigation.
One of the exhibits presented to the Jury during the trial was a body camera video from the responding Officer. It is a good example of the dangers police must face and how situations can escalate in literally the time it takes to open a door. Despite being faced with an unknown threat, the Officers from the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department responded with extreme professionalism and took control of an otherwise volatile situation.