Corvallis musician killed former Summit man, girlfriend, sheriff's office concludes
California authorities have ruled that Tomas Gouverneur, a former Corvallis musician, was responsible for the killings of a former Summit man and his California girlfriend last March, and that the act was premeditated.
According to the Trinity County Sheriff's Office, Gouverneur killed Christopher "Sky" Richardson, 26, and his girlfriend Kristine Constantino, 33, on March 13 at their residence in Kettenpom, Calif.
Deputies found the bodies of Richardson and Constantino in handcuffs, with their ankles tied together. Richardson had a clear plastic bag over his head and a rope around his neck.
Earlier, dispatchers in the area had received a 911 call for help from a woman. Because Kettenpom is a remote town, a deputy from the Trinity County Sheriff's Office then contacted residents of a nearby town, James Gund, 59, and his wife, Norma, 49, to see if they could provide any information.
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The Gunds went to the Richardson residence, and Gouverneur attacked them with a knife and a Taser. Gouverneur then took off in his car. The Gunds called authorities and described Gouverneur's car, initiating a 40-mile police chase through the heavily wooded, rural area at speeds of between 60 and 90 mph. The chase ended when Gouverneur's car slammed into an oak tree, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Det. Bryan Ward announced on Jan. 26 that the investigation into the homicides was closed, and that Gouverneur's motive is believed to be related to marijuana sales. Law enforcement officials reported that there was evidence of a marijuana operation at Constantino and Richardson's residence as well as packaged marijuana and $11,000 cash in Gouverneur's vehicle.
Evidence at the California residence and in Gouverneur's car identified Gouverneur as the responsible party who acted alone. An autopsy revealed that Gouverneur had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
Authorities tracked the Taser information to Gouverneur; they found a Myspace picture of Gouverneur with a knife similar to the one used to assault the Gunds; and receipts for the handcuffs, rope and duct tape were tracked to Corvallis stores and surveillance at the stores showed Gouverneur purchasing the items by himself.
Ward said that the time between the crime and the announcement of the case's closure - almost a year - was spent making sure the agency wasn't overlooking anything.
"As cut and dry as we felt the case was as far as who did it, there's always a question as to why," Ward said. For example, "Was someone else involved in some way, shape or form? At this point in time, we felt we'd talked to everyone willing to talk to us. Nothing has changed as far as any other persons being involved."
Emily Gillespie can be reached at 541-758-9548 or firstname.lastname@example.org.