Public Defender Convicted Of Providing Firearm To Felon, Keeps Her Job
San Diego, CA – A San Diego public defense attorney accused of providing a gun to a felon pleaded guilty to the offense on Oct. 12.
Andrea Bayer, 37, had previously pleaded not guilty in San Diego Superior Court to felony charges of furnishing a firearm to a felon and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a felon, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
On Oct. 12, as part of a plea agreement, Bayer pleaded guilty to the felony count of furnishing a firearm to a felon, an offense that occurred sometime between Feb. 4 and June 29.
In exchange, the second felony count against her was dismissed.
Bayer, who has worked with the Alternate Public Defender’s Office since 2005, was placed on leave on July 30, shortly before her arrest on Aug. 1, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
She was released on her own recognizance on the same day.
Despite her guilty plea, she remains employed, San Diego County Public Defender Randy Mize told The San Diego Union-Tribune the day after her change of plea hearing.
According to Mize, the State Bar may revoke Bayer’s license to practice law, because the felony conviction is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude.
“This is beyond heartbreaking,” Mize said.
According to a State Bar spokesperson, the California Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether or not to suspend or disbar Bayer.
Bayer was not taken into custody after pleading guilty to the felony weapons offense, and was allowed to remain free on her own recognizance until sentencing.
Her sentencing will not take place until sometime after April 5, 2019, when the attorneys and judge will meet again to schedule the sentencing hearing date.
Instead of sentencing her to up to four years in prison, Deputy District Attorney Oscar Hagstrom said that he and Bayer’s lawyer, Domenic Lombardo, expect the judge will likely place Bayer on probation.
Although the circumstances of Bayer’s charges have not been made public, Saul Tellechea told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the incident involved his 39-year-old twin sons, Matthew and Michael Tellechea.
Both are in jail for charges including attempted murder, manufacturing hash oil, arson, brandishing a firearm, vandalism, and making threats.
Saul said Bayer, who met his sons while jogging on the beach, simply purchased a firearm for her own protection, but then stored the weapon in a locked safe inside the twins’ home.
“The charges against them are made up,” Tellechea said, referring to his sons. “Andrea never gave them a gun. They didn’t have the key.”