Vegas man found guilty of having gun in suitcase

LIHU‘E — A Nevada man has entered a no-contest plea regarding a pistol found in a suitcase by airport security.

Timothy Ray Knauff, 51, of Henderson, Nev., stood before 5th Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano Monday, just over two years after being arrested on the Mainland when airport security agents on Kaua‘i discovered a weapon in his suitcase as he was leaving.

After failing to appear for an Oct. 17 hearing, Knauff was arrested in Nevada, booked and spent five days in jail.

He had to be booked again by the Kaua‘i Police Department Monday to process his bail after the contempt of court charge was dismissed.

Knauff is currently a physician’s assistant in Las Vegas.

County Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes read the indictment, reporting that on Aug. 3, 2009, Knauff’s luggage was discovered at Lihu‘e Airport to contain an unloaded .38-caliber pistol with ammunition stored in the same suitcase.

The weapon did not have a permit and was not registered.

The gun charge is a Class B felony with a maximum term of 10 years and a $25,000 fine.

The ammunition charge could add another year and a $2,000 fine.

The state is asking for five years of probation with conditions that include 400 hours community service and that Knauff would not be allowed  to own or posses firearms.

The plea would not require a mandatory minimum sentence and no extended sentencing.

Defense attorney Mark Zenger requested a deferred sentencing. Valenciano said he will rule on the motion at sentencing on Jan. 19.

• Tom LaVenture, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or by emailing tlaventure@ thegardenisland.com.

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