Judge Refuses to Confiscate Defendant’s Guns Despite Prosecutor’s Request

By Peter Eibert

WOODLAND, CA – Any of Trent Stonerock’s concerns about having his legally-owned firearms confiscated were alleviated here this week as Yolo County Superior Court Judge David W. Reed refused to confiscate them, despite Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian’s strenuous request.

Stonerock, who now resides in Ohio, was charged with a misdemeanor for resisting/obstructing a police officer for an August 2018 incident in which he had a physical altercation with his son.

The presence of Stonerock’s firearms, which were loaded, allegedly made the officers “concerned for their safety” as they dealt with the situation.

Kian proposed that Stonerock “surrender his firearms for a period of a year.” Kian wanted to make sure that Stonerock knows he’s “getting off with a diversion [of the misdemeanor charge],” and stressed that there must therefore be “some consequences as an incentive to comply.”

Kian suggested Stonerock “surrender [his firearms] to a licensed gun dealer in his state [Ohio].”

Further stressing public safety concerns, Kian asked that “drug terms be imposed,” which included frequent drug testing. He also added that “there’s claims of mental health issues and what not,” which increase public safety concerns.

Hendrick Crowell, Stonerock’s defense attorney, suggested vastly different conditions for his client than Kian did.

Crowell began by dispelling Kian’s concerns over Stonerock’s mental health and criticizing Kian’s suggestion to apply drug testing, stating that “this is a case from August of 2018, so he’s [Stonerock] been just about three years clean with no law violations, no calls for services, [and] no issues. He completed six sessions of private therapy.”

Crowell then addressed Kian’s request that the court confiscate Stonerock’s guns, arguing that “he’s [Stonerock] is a lawful gun owner. [The incident] was at his home… he was close to his guns, [and] there was a struggle over the police trying to secure the guns and the court granted the diversion request, and I think it’s more appropriate that he just do some community service.”

Crowell then specifically suggested that Stonerock do 40 hours of community service for the church in which he is a very “active” member.

However, Kian objected to Crowell’s suggestions.

First, Kian maintained the incident showed how Stonerock failed to “demonstrate proper gun ownership” since he seemingly frequently left his guns loaded, adding the situation got so out of control that the police officers on the scene “were actually concerned for their own safety as well as that of the son [of Stonerock].”

Second, Kian objected to Stonerock “doing community service at his own church, since that is not consistent with the traditional way the court operates with community service.”

After the argument between Kian and Crowell, Judge Reed granted the misdemeanor diversion for a year.

However, Judge Reed also included conditions that Stonerock must follow. Most notably, Judge Reed declined to confiscate Stonerock’s firearms; he didn’t believe that the court could “have anything to do with the guns” even if Stonerock were convicted of the offense of which he was charged.

In addition, Stonerock must perform 40 hours of community service for “some non-profit other than his church,” said the judge, explaining he usually does “not allow people to do community service in their own church.”

The date for the review hearing is set for July 14, 2022, in Dept. 7.

About The Author

Peter Eibert is a fourth-year student at UC Davis, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. He is originally from Half Moon Bay, California.

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