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Former attorney general's brother testifies in pot trial

The brother of former state Attorney General Dan Lungren testified Thursday that he never took part in surveillance or reported to anyone on the actions of medi-pot trial defendants Steve and Michele Kubby.

An Olympic Valley neighbor of the Kubbys at the time of their January 1999 arrest on growing-marijuana-for-sales charges, Brian Lungren served as a rebuttal witness for the prosecution. Earlier in the trial, Michele Kubby had mentioned Brian Lungren during questioning on her psychological state
before the raid. Her testimony was that she felt the house was under surveillance.

Brian Lungren simply answered "no" after prosecutor Chris Cattran asked whether he was involved in surveillance surrounding the Kubbys or whether he made reports on them to anyone.

Brian Lungren's description of his relationship with the Kubbys was one of
fleeting encounters on a trail behind their homes and little more than an exchange of pleasantries. The Kubbys lived seven houses down from Lungren.

Lungren said he declined Steve Kubby's one attempt to talk politics. Lungren said he was probably on a run along the trail and didn't want to be disturbed.

"I recall him saying something about stopping to talk on a political issue,"
Lungren said. "I said that I didn't want to talk see you later."

Brian Lungren testified that he couldn't recall whether the attempted discussion was on Proposition 215 or Steve Kubby's gubernatorial candidacy.

There was no hostility at that time or during any of the other few times they met on the trail, he added.

Michele Kubby had testified that she was terrified of the surveillance, couldn't sleep and had nightmares. During a portion of her testimony on her fears, she touched on seeing footprints in the snow going completely around the house and suspicious cars on the cul-de-sac. And she testified on what she described as a breakdown in a friendly relationship with Brian Lungren.

Lungren was a campaign strategist in his brother's run for governor in 1998.
While Gov. Gray Davis was Dan Lungren's major opponent, Steve Kubby was the
Libertarian candidate. Steve Kubby was also a major proponent of Prop. 215 the medicinal marijuana initiative before and after passage in 1996. Dan Lungren, as Republican state attorney general, had been one of its most vocal foes.

Michele Kubby said that before Prop. 215 passed, Brian Lungren would greet them on the trail. Afterward, he would look the other way, she said.

Asked whether his relationship with the Kubbys changed at any point, Lungren
replied that it had not.

"I'd describe our relationship as one of acquaintances," Lungren said. "As I recall, pleasantries were exchanged and that was the extent of it."

Lungren added that he never drove past the Kubby house until after the raid.

The Kubbys are nearing the end of a trial in Auburn on 16 charges related to
the seizure of 265 marijuana plants from their indoor garden. Steve Kubby,
diagnosed with a rare form of adrenal cancer, and Michele Kubby, suffering
from irritable bowel syndrome, had medicinal marijuana recommendations from doctors at the time of the search. The prosecution's contention is that the grow was for commercial use. The Kubbys are also being tried on charges of peyote, magic mushroom and hashish possession.

Placer County Superior Court Judge John L. Cosgrove indicated to the jury that they could have the case as early as Thursday.

By Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer

Pubdate: 7 Dec, 2000
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2000 The Auburn Journal
Contact: ajournal@foothill.net
Address: 1030 High St., Auburn, CA 95603
Website: Auburn California News | Auburn Journal
Author: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Phone: (530) 885-6585
Related: Official Steve Kubby Home Page
Note: After repeated failed attempts to question the honesty of the Kubbys, the prosecution raised questions about Michele, because she had mentioned that Brian Lungren no longer talking to us was one of the reasons she began to suspect they were under surveillance. We found it strange that the
prosecutors made such a big deal over such a brief comment and we certainly had plenty of questions for Brian Lungren, who said he had served as Dan Lungren's campaign strategist. However, our attorneys decided not to pursue questioning Brian Lungren, since the jury is clearly angry at being held
over so long.