Saturday, 13 April 2024

Dinius gets a tentative January 2009 trial date

LAKEPORT – The trial of a Carmichael man facing felony manslaughter in connection with a fatal April 2006 boating crash may take place next January.


Bismarck Dinius, 40, was in Lake County Superior Court Monday to find out possible court dates.


Dinius is charged with vehicle manslaughter involving a vessel and boating under the influence.


On April 29, 2006, he was steering a sailboat owned by Willows resident Mark Weber which was struck by a speedboat driven by Russell Perdock, a chief deputy with the Lake County Sheriff's Office.


Weber's fiancee, 51-year-old Lynn Thornton, was fatally injured in the crash and died a few days later at UC Davis Medical Center.


The prosecution, led by Deputy District Attorney John Langan, asserts that the boat was under way without running lights and that Dinius had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 that night.


Dinius' Sacramento attorney, Victor Haltom, has argued that the crash, ultimately, was the fault of Perdock driving his speedboat too fast at about 9 p.m., and that the sailboat Dinius was steering did have working lights that were on.


Perdock has not been charged in the case, although he, Dinius, Weber and Thornton's son are involved in a civil suit over Thornton's death.


After a lengthy preliminary hearing that wrapped up in June, Judge Richard Martin ruled that Dinius would stand trial.


On Monday, Judge Robert Crone discussed with the prosecution and defense future court dates.


The parties will meet in November to enter motions in the case to be followed by a trial readiness conference in December.


Dinius' trial is tentatively set to begin on Jan. 13, 2009.


During Monday's proceedings, Haltom indicated he planned to file a motion requesting the charges be dismissed due to insufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing. Dinius also waived his right to a speedy trial.


After court, Dinius told Lake County News that he and Haltom are looking forward to the opportunity to confront and question the prosecution’s witnesses in the less restrictive forum that a full-blown jury trial offers.


Haltom indicated that his office would continue examining the activities of law enforcement personnel involved on the night of the incident as well as the investigation that followed.


Lake County News had no opportunity to speak with prosecutor Langan after the hearing.


E-mail Harold LaBonte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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