We continue to follow up on the fatal boat crash on Clear Lake from April 2006.
The number two man in the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Chief Deputy Russell Perdock, was driving his speedboat a reported 40-50 mph at night when it hit a sailboat, killing a woman.
And, it’s the man who happened to be steering the sailboat at the time who’s facing a felony manslaughter charge. The prosecutor says he’s charging Bismarck Dinius because he was under the influence, and the sailboat’s running lights were off – several witnesses tell us they saw the lights on. Dinius says he’s the victim of the good ‘ol boy network, who are protecting their own.
Tonight, we show you how the six judges in Lake County removed themselves from Perdock’s on-going divorce case; in court papers, several of the judges called him “a personal acquaintance.” Yet, the judges did not remove themselves from the boat crash case, also involving Perdock.
The defense team is preparing for a trial, and they’ve interviewed Perdock’s soon-to-be ex-wife. Donna Perdock echoed something we’d heard from several residents around Clear Lake – that Russell Perdock likes to drive fast, on the road and the water. In a transcript of Donna Perdock’s conversation with the Dinius defense team, she said, “I hated the way he drove. I was always white knuckled.” Donna Perdock said Russell would regularly drive his Baja speedboat 70 mph during the day, and that the normal speed at night was around 40 mph. They’d often take the boat across the lake to concerts at Konocti Resort.
Donna Perdock gives a dim view of the prospects for a fair trial: “Russell has been with the Sheriff’s Department for a very long time. … If I was your client, I would not want my trial here.” She continues, “Russell’s involved with this accident, and he knows everyone here. I just can’t imagine having that against me.”
Dinius’ friends have set up a legal defense fund. For anyone who’s interested, they ask that checks be made out to Bismarck Dinius with "Bismarck Dinius Defense Fund" in the memo section. The address is Sierra Central Credit Union, Attn: Brian Foxworthy, Branch Manager, 306 North Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, California 95661.