Vincent Mater, 42, a former Fullerton police officer pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of destruction of evidence and vandalism. Mater, a former police officer destroyed is digital recorder which captured conversation between him and Dean Gochenour, who he had just arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Gochenour committed suicide in the jail hours after his arrest.
An internal affairs investigation ensued where Mater said he threw his recorder out of frustration when it wouldn't download. Investigators didn't buy his version as the recorder was severely damaged. Fullerton investigators forwarded the case to the Orange County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Mater will not serve any jail time, contrary to the request of the DA's office. Instead, he will pay fines and be on probation.