Boat trial stunner: Perdock doesn't testify

August 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A major witness in a fatal boat crash case from Clear Lake did not take the stand as expected Thursday.

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Lake County District Attorney Jon Hopkins told the court on Wednesday that he planned to call Sheriff's Captain Russell Perdock to the stand to testify.

However, the prosecution rested its case Thursday morning after hearing from a single witness, Craig Woodworth, an investigator with the Lake County DA's office.

Perdock slammed his powerboat into a sailboat on Clear Lake while driving at night on April 29, 2006, killing a woman who was a passenger on the sailboat. But it was the man at the tiller of the sailboat, Bismarck Dinius, who got charged with a crime.

Dinius's defense attorney, Victor Haltom, said Perdock should be on trial instead of his client, and that he was "stunned" that Perdock did not appear Thursday.

"Yesterday in court Mr. Hopkins had announced that to everybody that was there that Perdock was going to testify, and he didn't," Haltom said.

The defense also asked the judge to dismiss the felony count of boating under the influence causing injury or death against Dinius, but the judge denied their motion.

DA Hopkins declined to comment on why Perdock did not appear.

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