You all remember our friend Kym Kemp’s shocking series earlier this year on the murder of Kristin Constantino and Christopher “Sky” Richardson way out in the hills around Kettenpom. Perhaps the most startling aspect of the whole story was the fact that neighbors of the murdered couple arrived at the scene of the crime — at the behest, they said, of the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office — and were very nearly killed themselves.
Afterward, Trinity County law enforcement denied that they ever asked the neighbors, James and Norma Gund, to go check out what was going on, and declined to comply with a Public Records Act request that would have shed light on the issue.
Now the Gunds — represented by the Eureka firm of Zwerdling, Bragg & Mainzer — have officially filed a claim for damages against Trinity County. If denied, presumably they will sue. Excerpt from their claim follows. You can download a copy of the claims (.pdf) here and here.
This claim arises out of an incident that occurred on March 13, 2011 in Kettenpom, California, County of Trinity.
Claimants, James Gund and Norma Gund (Hice) sustained critical injuries during an attack by an individual named Tomas Gouverneur who brutally assaulted Claimants with a taser gun and a knife.
Tomas Gouvernour had also attacked and murdered Kristine Constantino and Christopher Richardson, two individuals living in a house approximately one quarter mile from the Gund residence. According to records from the California Highway Patrol, a call was received at approximately 15:28:13 originating from the Kettenpom airstrip “x-ray whispering help, help over and over again when promted (sic) for location she stated at the end of the Kettenpom air strip.” A California Highway Patrol- Centralized CAD journaling system is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 setting forth details regarding the call received by the California Highway Patrol dispatcher.
Exhibit 1 indicates that the CHP dispatcher made a call to the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office shortly thereafter. Allegedly a Trinity County Deputy Sheriff tried to dial the number provided by the caller but was unsuccessful. Thereafter, Trinity County Sheriff Corporal Ron Whitman called the Gund’s who resided in a home approximately one quarter mile from the residence where the distress calls had originated.
Allegedly, no recorded copy of the discussion between Corporal Whitman and Norma Gund exists. Claimants have been informed that the call from Corporal Whitman was from a cell phone. The Trinity County Sheriffs Department has advised that no recording of the conversation exists.
During said conversation, Corporal Whitman requested that Mr. and Mrs. Gund go to “check on Kristine” Constantino, the individual who resided at the home from where the distress calls originated. Corporal Whitman asked the Gund’s to check on the 911 call since it was “likely a phone malfunction due to the recent inclement weather”. Nothing was said regarding a whispered distress “help me” call.