Man gets 157 years in attack on woman
Donald “Gus” Allen Jr., 46, was handed life sentences Thursday on six counts he was convicted of in a May jury trial. They include forceable oral copulation, penetration by a foreign object, corporal injury, making death threats, false imprisonment and kidnapping.
Jurors deliberated for about an hour before reaching their verdict.
“You are disgusting, vicious and evil,” said Del Norte Superior Court Judge John Morrison before deciding Allen’s fate Thursday. “I don’t think I have any other choice considering my oath of office.”
Morrison read each count and said “25 to life” while Allen sat in an orange jump suit surrounded by bailiffs at the Del Norte County Superior Courthouse.
The six sentences, plus seven years tacked on by three special allegations, tallied out to 157 years, “at which point you will be eligible for parole,” said Morrison.
Allen also earned four “strikes” from the conviction, adding to the two he already had from a 2006 assault on another woman.
During that assault, he beat two women in the head with a hammer — one of the women he struck at least five times, a witness told authorities. The woman was 18 years old at the time.
He brought a duffel bag to the women’s house that contained duct tape, an empty bottle of alcohol and a long, jagged knife, according to the witness.
Allen also duct taped the head of the 18-year-old woman to a kitchen drawer before she escaped, ran to a neighbor’s house and collapsed on the front patio, according to court documents.
He threatened to kill a few people at the house during that incident, the documents stated.
Judge Morrison speculated that if the victim in the March assault at Pacific Shores didn’t have the opportunity to escape Allen due to his pants being down, he would have been being sentenced for murder Thursday instead of the other charges.
Allen raped, sodomized and beat the 49-year-old victim for about six hours before she was able to escape from him for a short while, hide in her car and make a call for help before he broke the car’s window, pulled her out of it by her hair and continued the assault, authorities said.
The woman had a bald spot on the top of her head where Allen yanked her, as well as bruises and scrapes all over her body.
She was eventually taken away from the scene by a relative and Allen was captured after spending a few hours in the brush trying to elude authorities.
“I believe the three strikes law was made specifically for people like Mr. Allen,” said Assistant District Attorney Katie Micks during the sentencing.
She prosecuted the 2006 assault case and crafted a plea bargain for the two strikes he received in it with an eye toward sending him to prison for life if he committed a similar crime.
“I knew if I was going to see Mr. Allen again, it was going to be in a bad way,” said Micks. “I expected to see him again.”
Micks argued for Morrison to send Allen away for 82 years to life — significantly less than what he was given. She opined that it seemed she was constrained by sentencing parameters in the charges.
She brought up Allen’s criminal history dating to 1986 when he was a youth and stole a car.
Other convictions include being a felon in possession of a firearm twice, evading a police officer and assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury.
Allen is “not just a career criminal, but a violent career criminal,” said Micks.
Defense Attorney John Babin argued for sending Allen to prison for 40 years, which would essentially be a life sentence as he would be 77 when he was released under that sentence.
Babin said the victim had forgiven Allen.
“I think it’s truly a voluntary statement on her part to forgive the defendant,” said Babin.
During the trial, the victim recanted her initial statement to authorities about the events that took place.
However, the jury was able to hear audio recordings of conversations between the victim and Allen, who was in jail. Allen was mainly trying to convince the victim to change her story.
The victim again came to the side of Allen at his sentencing hearing, pleading for leniency in the form of a short jail sentence and an opportunity for Allen to go to rehab.
“I don’t feel we went about the trial right,” said the victim. “There was no kidnapping. I went on my own will. I don’t feel that Gus deserves to be locked up for the rest of his life for something we were both involved in.”
She categorized the incident as “a night that went really bad due to us being on drugs and alcohol.”
“I don’t believe you can heal pain and suffering with more pain and suffering,” she said.
By the end of the statement, she was referring to herself as a “so-called victim” and criticizing the DA’s Office for bringing forth charges.
“From the very beginning I did not want charges brought against Gus,” the woman said.
She closed her statement by asking who in the courtroom was there in support of Allen.
“Gus and I are all we have for each other,” said the victim.
Allen also addressed the court in an profanity-laden statement pleading for leniency.
“We were asleep for God’s sake,” said Allen. “I don’t know why ... she left me out there.”
“This is just unbelievable what you people can come up here and say,” he said. “You blow (things) so far out of proportion it’s unbelievable.”
He blamed his actions on substance abuse and asked for help in the form of rehabilitation instead of prison time.
“This just isn’t right,” said Allen. “You’re locking me up and leaving (the victim) to deal with all the (difficulties).”
“I don’t need to be locked up for the rest of my life,” said Allen. “It just don’t make any sense. If anything, I was protecting her from the hallucinations and all the other (things) we were going through.”
He also claimed authorities cherry-picked all the negative parts of the hours of audio recordings to cast him in a poor light.
“I couldn’t find any indication on your part of regret,” said Morrison.