The felon out on probation had his knife lawfully displayed in a sheath on his belt, according to his defense attorney, and so he did not violate California law. And when that felon tossed his knife aside when he saw an Escondido policeman, he only did that to prevent the cop becoming fearful.
Keny Gudino, 23, pleaded not-guilty to carrying a concealed knife, and possession of meth, and possession of burglary tools, at a court hearing on December 3.
Public defender John Wilschke told the judge that it is legal in California to have a knife on one’s belt, if that knife is exposed to view and not concealed. The attorney suggested that when the cop said he saw Gudino pull up his shirt front and take out the knife and its sheath, Gudino was just moving his shirt to one side, and the knife was not actually in his waistband as the cop believed.
Escondido police officer Joseph Putulowski said it was before midnight on Monday, September 24, when he went to assist another cop who had Gudino at gunpoint. They were in the parking lot of the Pamilla Villas Apartments at 320 East Mission Avenue. The first officer said he witnessed Gudino reach for the knife in his waistband, and that the knife was “in the appendix carry,” that is, in the front and lower right side of his torso; that cop said Gudino pulled out both the knife and sheath and threw them aside.
The knife was described as a Milwaukee fixed blade; the blade was silver and eight or nine inches long; the sheath was black metal.
Officers also found meth and “shaved keys,” on the person of Gudino, according to testimony.
Defense attorney John Wilschke asked the judge to reduce the felony knife charge to a misdemeanor, pointing out the tender youthfulness of the offender. (Although Gudino looks much older than his declared 23 years, to one spectator). His attorney described Gudino as a responsible person who was employed by Mission Pools on weekends, with plans to finish his GED at a school in San Marcos.
Prosecutor Joshua Brisbane told the court that Gudino had been charged with a violent robbery, with gang allegations, in an earlier case. In that prior matter Gudino was allegedly with another gang member when he approached the victim and ordered him to empty his pockets. But Gudino made a plea deal, admitting felony grand theft, and was out on probation for that case at the time of the new offenses.
Judge Carlos Armour declined to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor.