A Sonoma Valley man who was convicted of the attempted murder of a disabled man was sentenced to 10 years in prison today in Sonoma County Superior Court. As part of an agreement for a 10-year term, Logan Dunning, 23, pleaded no contest in September to the attempted murder of 28-year-old Austin Ridge on April 25, 2012, in Boyes Hot Springs. Ridge, who became disabled after a vehicle accident in 2004, was found by a newspaper delivery person beaten and stabbed on Lucas Avenue in Sonoma around 4:30 a.m.
He was a popular resident in Sonoma and often was seen riding his specially-equipped tricycle, especially during Fourth of July parades. He was riding it home when he was attacked. Dunning became a suspect in Ridge’s assault when Santa Rosa police notified the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office that an automobile arson suspect lived in the same area as the Ridge assault.
Sheriff’s deputies searched Dunning’s house and found the knife believed to have been used in Ridge’s assault, and traces of blood containing DNA evidence that linked Dunning to the assault, sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said. In the Lucas Avenue house, police also found property, including electronics, currency and sunglasses, that were taken from some of the vehicles before they were set on fire, Santa Rosa police Lt. Mike Lazzarini said. Dunning was suspected of committing at least six vehicle arsons in the Santa Rosa area but pleaded no contest to one arson.
He was sentenced today to a 3-year term concurrent to the 10-year sentence for attempted murder and inflicting great bodily harm on Ridge. “You are not a human being, you are a monster. We will always wonder what made you attack Austin,” Ridge’s mother Kim Ridge told Dunning at his sentencing this morning. Ridge’s sister Amber Brown told Dunning there is no excuse for leaving her brother in the road in the middle of the night. Ridge did not want to come to court this morning, his family members said after Dunning was sentenced. “He’s scared.
He wants it to be over,” Kim Ridge said. Family members said Dunning wrote them a letter, but he took no responsibility for the assault. Dunning’s attorney Joe Stogner complimented Ridge’s family for the “grace and strength” they showed during the court proceedings. He said the next several years of Dunning’s life will be challenging, but he will serve his penalty. Judge Dana Simonds said the assault was “absolutely senseless and predatory.” “You attacked a disabled person riding a tricycle,” Simonds said. Between the attempted murder and the arsons, “We’re all wondering, ‘What’s up with you?'” Simonds said.
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