Dec. 12--What used to be a 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo sits in Jud Champlin's garage, a hunk of wreckage, albeit elegant Italian wreckage. And the man who did the damage learned Wednesday that he'll have to spend six months in the county workhouse for his crimes.
David "Superdave" Juntunen, 41, of Minneapolis also was placed on three years' probation and ordered to pay $192,000 in restitution to Champlin and an insurance company.
Champlin, a Minneapolis patent lawyer, had entrusted the sports car to Juntunen's Top Gear Autoworks for repairs and six months of storage in November 2011. Five months later, on March 8, 2012, Juntunen and a female employee took the Lamborghini -- powered by a 520-horsepower V-10 engine -- on a late-night joyride and wrecked it.
"This has been, obviously, disturbing to you," Juntunen told Champlin moments before Hennepin County District Judge Pamela Alexander sentenced him.
He told the judge that only through being in recovery for alcohol abuse has he discovered that being "self-centered and selfish was impacting people and me."
"I'm working 50 hours a week trying to rebuild my company, trying to repay Mr. Champlin," he told the judge.
Although Juntunen can work while he's in the Hennepin County workhouse, he can't work at his own shop. Workhouse rules require self-employed defendants to carry liability insurance -- which Juntunen is unable to get, his attorney, Chris Ritts, told Alexander.
"I don't see that anybody is going to hire him," the lawyer said.
The joyride has spawned a civil suit, and the sentencing doesn't end the criminal case. Ritts said Juntunen will appeal the amount of the restitution because he thinks the prosecution's $150,000 estimate for the value of the car is too high.
"The car isn't even worth a third of that," Ritts said after the hearing.
Depending on extras, a 2007 Gallardo could cost up to $200,000. The crash did an estimated $82,480 in damage to the car.
Juntunen and the employee were out riding in the car and knocked over three trees and two light poles in a Minneapolis park. The impact ripped off a front wheel.
Juntunen had one of his tow-truck drivers haul the car back to Top Gear. He didn't report the crash to police, but he did file an insurance claim for the damage.
In that claim, Juntunen said the wreck happened when Pamela Jean DuPont, then 41, of Princeton was driving the car from one of his storage barns to Top Gear's main facility on East Lake Street.
Minneapolis park police investigated the felled trees and poles and tracked down the vehicle to Top Gear. An officer interviewed Juntunen and DuPont. Both claimed that she had been driving and that she had swerved to avoid an animal.
The two told the same story to an insurance investigator. The insurer doubted their yarn and scheduled sworn statements from them, but neither showed up on the appointed day.
The insurance company denied the damage claim, suspecting the car had been damaged doing something its policy didn't cover.
In January, Juntunen and DuPont were charged with insurance fraud and auto theft. By August, DuPont struck a deal with Hennepin County prosecutors in which the theft charge was dismissed and she was placed on pretrial diversion on the other count.
If she has no other offenses before next Aug. 13, the case will be dropped and she will have a clean record.
On the October day his trial was to begin, Juntunen reached his own deal with the state and pleaded guilty.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Paul Scoggin told Alexander that the state was impressed with Juntunen's work to get and stay sober, but said he wondered about the sincerity of the work.
In the past, Juntunen has used going through treatment as a way to avoid consequences, Scoggin said.
"Part of his recovery is actually paying the consequences ... pure and simply paying the price for what he's done," the prosecutor said, arguing for time in the workhouse.
Before being charged in the Lamborghini incident, Juntunen had been charged with 59 crimes in 30 court cases. Thirty-eight of those involved driving-related offenses, including 13 counts of driving after his license had been revoked and 10 counts of driving while impaired.
In a victim-impact statement, Champlin, 49, told Alexander he lamented that Juntunen had ample opportunities to come clean about what he had done but had continued his deceptions.
"My concern is the defendant will repeat these actions in the future," he said.
"He's wasted so much time for so many people," Champlin said. "I don't want him to be simply able to talk his way out of this."
David Hanners can be reached at 612-338-6516.
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