San Diego

Ex-Public Defender Purchased Handgun, Stored Rifle, Ammunition for Felon

An investigator says Andrea Bayer had a "romantic," and at times violent relationship with her former client.

When former public defender Andrea Bayer balked at her boyfriend's request that she buy him handgun and ammunition, the man physically assaulted her.

But according to courtroom testimony, Bayer quickly relented and made the illegal weapon purchase for Michael Tellechea, a felon who Bayer had become romantically involved with after representing him in a criminal case.

"Michael wanted Andrea to buy this firearm for him," said District Attorney Investigator Bobby Dean. "Initially there was an argument about it. He got upset, grabbed her by the hair and threw her out in the street."

Michael Tellechea and his twin brother, Matthew, are charged with attempted murder, arson, assault and other felonies stemming from an alleged crime spree last year in Ocean Beach.

A judge heard more evidence Wednesday, in the second day of a preliminary hearing for the Tellecheas.

Responding to questions from Michael Tellechea's attorney,  Investigator Dean confirmed that Bayer used the county's computer system to access information about arrest warrants issued against the Tellecheas and shared the information with the brothers.

Matthew Tellechea's attorney, Shawn Huston, said Bayer's use of the "SD Law" computer system for other than official court business was a violation of office protocol.

Dean also confirmed Wednesday that Bayer continued to take phone calls from Michael Tellechea after his arrest. In an interview with Dean and prosecutors after her arrest, Bayer said "she was stupid" to continue talking with Tellechea, Dean said during his testimony.

Court records reviewed by NBC 7 Investigates confirm that Bayer previously represented Michael Tellechea in a kidnapping case.

A jury acquitted Tellechea on those previous felony charges. But Tellechea and his twin brother quickly got in serious trouble again with the law.

When investigators served a search warrant on the Tellechea's Ocean Beach home last year, they found a handgun and ammunition. Michael Tellechea, who has prior felony convictions, cannot legally purchase or possess firearms.

When investigators checked the weapon's serial number, they found that Bayer had purchased the .357 Magnum handgun.

Prosecutors charged her with two felonies related to the illegal purchase of a firearm for a felon. According to testimony at the brothers' preliminary hearing Tuesday, Bayer quickly agreed to plead guilty to a single felony and cooperate with prosecutors on their current case against the Tellecheas.

Investigator Dean testified that Bayer has provided his office with important evidence to buttress their case against her former boyfriend and his twin brother.

Dean said Bayer revealed how she helped Michael Tellechea hide another weapon in a storage unit near Lindbergh Field. Investigators found that weapon and other items when they served a search warrant at the storage facility.

"There was a long rifle with a flashlight on the end and a .22 caliber extended magazine," Dean testified. "Boxes and Boxes of ammunition: .38 caliber, .357, .22, holsters and a shoulder rig."

Bayer's sentencing on her felony case has been delayed until at least October. She will most probably avoid custody and will be placed on probation, according to information revealed Tuesday at the brothers' preliminary hearing.

According to the California State Bar website, Bayer's law license has been on "inactive" status since January. She was admitted to practice in California in 2004, after graduating from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.

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