Tuhn sentenced to five-plus years in prison for domestic abuse, illegal possession of a firearm
By BRANDON HURLEY
A Jefferson man who was arrested in February for illegal gun possession and domestic abuse has been sentenced to five years in prison, court documents say.
Richard Tuhn, 43, was charged with a string of crimes after police were alerted to his possession of a firearm despite his status as a convicted domestic abuser. The discovery led to a string of other charges as well, including domestic assault and a dismissed charge of sexual abuse.
Tuhn was also sentenced to two years in prison during the court decision Monday, stemming from his guilty plea of domestic assault following his initial release from jail in February.
Tuhn initially pled not guilty to all charges on Feb. 28 before requesting to move the location of a potential jury trial for charges of sexual assault (which were dropped) as well as the domestic assault accusation. Tuhn’s defense team claimed the prior press coverage of the trial – specifically by the Jefferson Herald – would taint the eventual jury pool.
That hearing was never held though, as Tuhn pled guilty to domestic assault and illegal possession of a firearm on May 18.
Three charges for illegal gun possession as well as the sexual assault charge were dismissed in lieu of Tuhn’s guilty plea for domestic assault.
Aug. 1’s sentencing concluded a whirlwind six-month case, which led to the arrest of Tuhn on several different occasions.
Tuhn’s Feb. arrests for gun possession spark more charges
Richard Tuhn was arrested three times in a span of eight days this past winter, leading to his eventual prison sentence.
Tuhn attended a high school basketball game in Jefferson Tuesday, Feb. 1 after being arrested for the first time for felony possession of a firearm. His release was followed by his eventual domestic abuse assault a few hours after exiting the Greene County jail on bail, before making the trek to the Greene County high school.
Tuhn was initially arrested around 10 a.m. Feb. 1 for felony possession of a firearm – his four previous domestic assault convictions as well as an assault conviction restrict Tuhn from ever legally owning a firearm. He was twice convicted in 2010 and twice more in 2014. He also has been found guilty of assault after punching a man in 2019 following an altercation between he, Tuhn and another person.
The 43-year old’s most recent troubles began after an investigation was instigated in January. Jefferson officers received reports of domestic abuse having occurred Jan. 17. Those same accusations claimed Tuhn was also cooking meth at his home on Vest Street. Another report was filed on Jan. 31, alleging Tuhn was in illegal possession of two rifles, though a criminal complaint suggests he had become leery of law enforcement finding his guns and transferred the weapons to a business in Grand Junction.
The Jefferson Police Department was granted a search warrant following the two claims of criminal mischief, and initiated said warrants on Feb. 1. The Jefferson Police Department was assisted by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol, deploying to locations in Grand Junction and in Jefferson.Officers searched Tuhn’s residence on Vest Street in Jefferson and seized ammunition. The Sheriff’s Office simultaneously executed the second search warrant at 201 ½ E. Main Street in Grand Junction. Nothing of substantial evidence was found at this address.
During the second search, officers were informed Tuhn was outside and had forced a vehicle to stop, blocking the subjects from leaving on S Avenue, near the railroad crossing.
Officers and deputies headed to the scene, but Tuhn was no longer on S Avenue.
Jefferson officers did notice Tuhn’s vehicle traveling west on 237th Street toward Jefferson and performed a traffic stop on the S curves east of Jefferson. The officers arrested Tuhn and charged him with dominion/control of a firearm by a domestic abuse offender – a Class D Felony. His vehicle was towed to impound and was covered by the search warrant. During the search of the truck, more ammunition was located.
Tuhn was subsequently held in the Greene County jail for less than six hours, according to court documents, and was released around 3:30 p.m. Feb. 1. Court documents say he returned home to his residence on Vest Street, believing he was “owed sex because of the trouble started” by the person living with him. Tuhn was allegedly angered that the subject had spoken with law enforcement regarding Tuhn’s ongoing criminal investigation for possession of a firearm. He subsequently committed the alleged domestic abuse that day. Tuhn then showered and attended a basketball game at the Greene County High School, court documents say, less than a few hours after imprisonment and his alleged physical altercation.
The domestic abuse claims – along with the dismissed sexual abuse allegation – were filed Feb. 2. Tuhn was arrested the next day, Feb. 3, but not for a charge of assault. He was charged with several other criminal infractions, and booked into the Greene County jail for the second time in three days.
Officers jailed Tuhn again for felony possession of a firearm, learning he was the owner of two rifles and was alleged to have stolen a black, Walther handgun. He allegedly sent texts to the owner of the handgun, saying the subject “was never going to see the gun again” and Tuhn planned to “shoot police officers and force officers to shoot him.” The owner of the handgun is the same person who reported the sexual assault case.
Officers with the Jefferson Police Department were able to pin-point the location of Tuhn’s cell phone, finding the person in question near the intersection of Grimmell Road and Lincoln Way. Tuhn was asked by law enforcement to withdraw both hands completely from his coat upon arrival, but only produced a single visible hand, which forced one officer to unholster his weapon and aim it at Tuhn.
Richard was eventually arrested on several charges in addition to felony possession of a firearm, including fourth degree theft (handgun), possession of a controlled substance, meth and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers also located roughly four grams of marijuana in Tuhn’s possession at the Greene County jail. The drug was hidden inside a cigarette package and discovered during booking. Tuhn pled guilty to the marijuana charge and was thusly sentenced to six additional months in jail, court documents say. His charges for possession of meth and illegal prescription pills were dismissed.
A Jefferson police officer interviewed Tuhn while he was in jail on Feb. 4 in relation to the sexual abuse claims. A warrant was issued, he was then arrested on Feb. 9.
Criminal past contributes to sentence
Tuhn’s criminal history prior to his most recent troubles contributed to his five year and two year prison sentences, court documents say. He was charged by the Jefferson Police Department with first degree burglary Nov. 16, 2019 in addition to a charge for assault causing bodily injury or mental illness. The burglary charge was eventually dismissed, but he was convicted for the assault claim and forced to serve 365 days in jail.
Tuhn also has also been charged of domestic abuse assault on several different occasions, including a domestic abuse assault charge of impeding air or blood flow causing bodily injury in April of 2014 in Greene County, a charge which violated his probation.
Tuhn was charged with second degree burglary, third degree mischief and child endangerment in July of 2010 in Greene County. The charges for burglary and child endangerment were dismissed, but he was found guilty of criminal mischief and was sentenced to two years in prison.