According to The News Tribune, Stephen Wesley Ungerbuehler — who was known as Steve Unger when he played bass for METAL CHURCH from 2004 to 2009 — was convicted on Monday (August 20) on one count of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance. Two more serious felony charges — leading organized crime and money laundering — were rejected by the jurors, who deliberated for two hours after a three-week trial.
Deputy prosecutor Karen Platt argued that Ungerbuehler was the leader of a marijuana-growing enterprise that raked in profits he laundered through his personal bank accounts.
A conviction for leading organized crime, the most serious count, would have carried a prison sentence of about five years.
Ungerbuehler‘s lawyer, Jay Berneburg, argued that his client helped a friend sick with cancer grow marijuana so she could use it as medicine.
The musician has most recently toured and recorded with WHERE ANGELS SUFFER (W.A.S.), which features in its ranks ex-W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, Ira Black (guitar; METAL CHURCH, LIZZY BORDEN, HEATHEN), Rich Lewis (vocals; ANIMAL) and Stet Howland (drums; ex-W.A.S.P.).