STPUD member Dale Rise to face arraignment
Tahoe Daily Tribune
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A county judge ruled there is enough evidence to proceed to trial in the case of South Tahoe Public Utility District board member Dale Rise who is accused of obstruction of justice.
Rise, 57, is set to be arraigned May 10 on two counts of preventing law enforcement officers from performing their duty, after El Dorado Superior Court Judge Suzanne Kingsbury ruled during a Monday preliminary hearing that there is enough evidence against Rise to move forward with the trial.
The criminal complaint filed against Rise alleges he interfered with South Lake Tahoe police officers attempting to respond to and investigate a report of domestic violence at Rise’s residence.
The crux of the case hinges on if the three responding officers lawfully entered Rise’s residence. South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Donna Kingman confirmed during testimony that officers did not obtain a warrant to enter the premises.
However, El Dorado Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara argued officers are trained to investigate incidents of domestic violence thoroughly and immediately.
“Officers should not be delayed in obtaining a warrant,” said O’Hara. “If there is suspicion of ongoing spousal abuse, this warrants immediate police intervention.”
Kingsbury ultimately agreed with O’Hara’s point.
“Mr. Rise held the key to his own fate in this circumstance,” said Kingsbury during the hearing. “Domestic violence can escalate quickly, so it was credible for the officers to enter the residence. If the officers had taken Mr. Rise’s word and left and later his wife turned out to be killed or injured, the entire world would have to agree the officers did not do their job.”
However, Rise believes he will be vindicated, pointing out that he is not being charged with domestic violence.
“It was an argument,” he said. “It was a non-violent situation. Is it illegal to argue with your spouse? The truth will come out in the trial. I was assaulted in my own home.”
Rise’s attorney, William Cole, said the responding officers did not have enough evidence of violence to enter the residence without permission.
“It was not a lawful entry,” said Cole.
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