Wednesday, June 25 2014, 09:48 PM CDT
Man Pleads Guilty in Siskiyou County Courthouse Gold Theft Case
By Aaron Nilsson/KTVL.comYREKA, Calif. -- Another man will go behind bars in Siskiyou County for stealing gold in 2012.
David Johnson admitted guilt for his part of stealing gold from the county courthouse thought to be worth at least one million dollars.
Siskiyou County judge, William J. Davis, thanked the jurors for their time and released them because David Johnson pleaded guilty on all six charges.
“Ladies and gentleman, you may notice Mr. Johnson is not here with us. This morning Mr. Johnson decided to plead guilty to the charges, so there won’t be a trial,” Davis said.
The six charges include felonies and misdemeanors including second degree commercial burglary, petty theft, damage to doors inside the courthouse and other vandalism.
District Attorney, Kirk Andrus, said Johnson changing his plea from not guilty to now guilty will not change the length of his sentence, which could add up to 8 years and 10 months.
Andrus said the county always looked for a maximum sentence in this case.
“Has anybody made any promises to you in order for you to go through with this resolution?” Davis asked Johnson and his reply was "no." "Has anybody threatened or forced you to do that?" Davis asked Johnson and his reply, again, was "no."
Andrus said it’s the citizens who really hurt from this loss.Director of the county’s museum, Lisa Gioia, said the situation is simply sad.
“It was a devastating thought that such a great collection was gone and from what I understand they had not been able to recover where it went,” Gioia said.
One juror asked if any of the stolen goods were recovered.
“From my understanding, they have not,” Judge Davis said.
Gioia said it’s also devastating to lose the gold because of its significance for the history of the county.
“It’s just really a shame. We have photographs and here at the museum great exhibit on gold mining and its history in Siskiyou County, so at least we have that,” Gioia said.
Andrus said he characterizes this case as very unsatisfying because the gold is not yet recovered.In 2013, the court sentenced the second suspect in the case, Scott Bailey, to 5 years in prison.
Johnson's sentence hearing is set for the morning of Friday, August first.