Cocopah Police Chief Above the Law? Ask the Yuma Man Whose Son Found the Chief's Gun

Cocopah Tribal Police Chief James Spurgeon wasn't charged for allegedly leaving his gun at the Yuma home of an "acquaintance" in August, but the man whose 6-year-old son found that gun still has some questions.

Levi Cochnauer told Yuma police at the time that his son found the gun next to his bed, and pointed it right at him. Cochnauer tells New Times that he didn't invite Spurgeon to his house -- or his bedroom -- and he's not too pleased about Spurgeon not being punished for the incident.

See also:
-Cocopah Police Chief's Gun Found by 6-Year-Old
-Cocopah Police Chief Not Charged for Losing His Gun

Cochnauer says the non-action against Spurgeon seems to be an indication that if you're in Spurgeon's position, then "you can do what you want and not pay for crimes."

He thinks that had anyone else left their gun within reach of a child, they'd probably "be in jail or paying for it with a nice price."

Maybe if someone had been shot, then justice would have been pursued, he adds.

On top of allegedly having Spurgeon's gun pointed at him, Cochnauer wants to know why Spurgeon was even at his house, under the invitation of his wife -- who's also an employee with Cocopah Tribal Police.

After the news broke in August that Spurgeon was being investigated for the incident, the rumors were swirling about an alleged affair between Spurgeon and Cochnauer's wife.

Cochnauer says that appears to be the case, and claims there's been something going on between them for about a year-and-a-half.

As you can imagine, this ordeal has put quite a strain on Cochnauer -- who says he no longer lives in his house, is no longer with his wife, and now has to share custody of their children.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which reviewed the case instead of Yuma County's, declined to file charges due to "no reasonable likelihood of a conviction," an MCAO spokesman told the Yuma Sun at the time.

Even though Spurgeon was on leave pending the results of an internal investigation when the endangerment charge was dropped, Cochnauer told us that Spurgeon's back on the job. Cocopah Indian Tribe spokeswoman Ana Corpus confirms to New Times that Spurgeon is back on staff, and says that means the internal review must have been completed.

"What a guy," Cochnauer says (with a whole lot of sarcasm).

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley