Keith Gullens, a 26-year-old felon thought he was doing the right thing when he returned a handgun to a gun store after he discovered his friend had stolen it.
On June 20, 2016, Gullens and his friend Gerald Bumper visited South Post Guns in South Streator, Illinois. During the visit, Bumper reached over the counter and stole a Glock pistol while the clerk wasn’t looking.
Gullens was unaware of Bumper’s actions until later, when he decided that he would take the gun back in hopes of getting a reward. No reward was forthcoming, but what he did eventually get was not what he was hoping for.
Unfortunately for Gullens, two days after he returned the handgun, several men rammed a stolen Jeep into the store and stole firearms before fleeing. During the investigation of this “smash and grab” police reviewed security tapes for the previous few days to see if one of the culprits had been in the store to case it.
What the police saw was Gullens with the handgun as he was returning it and they recognized him as a felon. So a week after he returned the stolen gun, Gullens was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.
In October, a jury took just nine minutes to acquit him of the possession charge after his attorney successfully argued the defense of “necessity”, whereby a defendant is allowed to argue he indeed broke a law, but had no choice.
But that was not the end to Gullens’ troubles.
You see, Gullens was on probation for a prior theft conviction for stealing freight from a boxcar in Streator. Typical conditions of probation are that the individual not possess a weapon or be arrested or charged with breaking any laws, regardless of the outcome of the charge. So, after a September 29th hearing, his probation was revoked. And he has been in jail ever since, awaiting sentencing on the original boxcar theft charge. That sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 28th.
Until then, he remains in jail unless he can come up with $25,000 cash to make bond.
Is this a case of a “dumb criminal” or an example of “no good deed goes unpunished”?