91-Year-Old Jay Leone Wants Court To Return His Guns

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A 91-year-old California man is upset that the gun he used to subdue a man convicted of attacking him has not been returned.

Jay Leone, a gun collector and World War II veteran, was able to stop methamphetamine user Samuel Cutrufelli after he broke into his house by shooting him several times.

Cutrufelli, 31, was convicted of attempted murder, robbery, burglary and sentenced to 86 years to life in state prison. He has 60 days to file an appeal. While Cutrufelli and his lawyer decide what they want to do, Leone’s property is being held as evidence.

In addition to the gun he used during the incident, Leone’s gun collection, bullets, watches and jewelry are all being kept by the court. "Those guns are worth a fortune," Leone said. "That's stealing from me."

Leone’s gun collection is certainly valuable. It includes a .357 Magnum he has had since the 1960s and a German handgun his father gave him. He estimates the collection is worth $5,000 to $6,000.

The prosecutor in the trial, Deputy District Attorney Dorothy Chou Proudfoot, is trying to get Leone’s property back, the Mercury News reported.

"On felony cases, I generally wait until the 60-day notice of appeal period expires, and if no appeal has been filed in that time, I will bring a motion to return all the evidence that was seized pursuant to search warrant, and notify the law enforcement agency that I am no longer requesting that they retain evidence seized by other means," she said. "If an appeal is filed, then I'll have to decide what to do."

Cutrufelli was represented by Public Defender Jose Varela. He says that his office is obligated to preserve the evidence.

"We have a duty to appellate counsel to ensure that any evidence important to Mr. Cutrufelli's appeal be kept in the court's custody for further review," Varela said. "Our only concern with regards to the retention of the evidence is to ensure a fair appeal."

Sources: Mercury News, Conta Costa Times