Federal authorities have charged a man previously convicted of a 2017 shooting in Antioch with being a felon in possession of a gun or ammunition, after they said they found a loaded pistol discarded from a car he was driving.
The charges stem from a Dec. 11, 2019, traffic stop in Antioch during which Larry Bethurum tried to speed away from Antioch police when they tried to pull him over on D Street for a seatbelt violation, authorities with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California said. Authorities said they later found a gun and ammunition next to one of the car doors after Bethurum finally stopped.
Bethurum has four previous felony convictions, including one for assault with a firearm, stemming from a May 22, 2017, shooting at a homeowner on St. Francis Drive in Antioch, authorities said. By law, felons are not allowed to possess guns or ammunition.
According to the charging affidavit, Bethurum drove a Honda and was at the intersection of D and East 18th streets, when officers in a patrol car noticed he did not have his seatbelt on. The officers, with lights and siren on, made a U-turn to follow him, authorities said, and tracked the Honda left onto 13th Street, right onto F Street and left onto 11th Street, where they found the Honda parked crookedly in a driveway in the 500 block.
Officers pointed their guns at Bethurum when he got out of the driver’s side door, and he complied with their demands, authorities said. A passenger in the car stayed there, and officers detained her, noticing a loaded pistol about a yard away from the passenger door partially inside and on top of a cloth beanie, authorities said.
Police also found two loaded magazines, authorities said, one in a bag inside the beanie, and the other about a foot away from it. In all, officers recovered 20 rounds of .45-caliber ammunition, authorities said.
Investigators determined from the way the pistol and its loaded magazine were positioned that the pistol had been tossed form the car. Results from a DNA swab conducted on Bethurum showed his DNA on the pistol grip, the pistol trigger and the trigger guard, authorities said.
Bethurum received a three-year sentence in state prison for his conviction related to the 2017 shooting, and authorities said he was out on parole for that conviction.
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Author: Rick Hurd