tannybogus Donating Member (405 posts) Journal Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to add this author to your Ignore list Sun Aug-10-08 08:42 AM
'I called for help and now I'm facing prison time' A former Marine and Iraq war veteran from Santa Rosa is facing a felony weapons charge stemming from a call for help he made while contemplating suicide.
Iraq war veteran Matthew Jensen served three tours of duty and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. Jensen says he still suffers from PTSD, but is now taking medication and feels stable.Matthew Jensen, 24, said he was deeply depressed and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from his multiple tours in Iraq when he called 911 on May 31.
Jensen, a 6-foot-2-inch former infantryman, surrendered to police unarmed and without incident and was placed on a psychiatric hold that night. Officers confiscated a 1940s-design assault rifle they found on the floor of Jensen's parents' home on Princeton Drive.
Three weeks later, the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office issued a warrant for his arrest, charging Jensen with possession of an illegal assault rifle.
Police said the rifle, an SKS, had a "folding stock" and was found with a "high capacity magazine" -- two characteristics of an illegal weapon. A sniper scope and a bayonet were attached to the rifle.
Jensen, now a corporal in the California National Guard's Santa Rosa-based 579th Engineer Battalion, said he brought the rifle back from Iraq as a "war trophy" and gave it to his father.
Jensen said he took the rifle from a dead insurgent sniper, killed by Marines in his unit in 2004. Had he left the weapon in Iraq, Jensen believes it would have fallen back into the hands of enemy forces.
He said he removed the rifle's firing pin and firing mechanism and threw them away.
"You can't load it. You can't fire it," said Paul Carreras, Jensen's attorney.