Smolan man gets jail time


A Smolan man who was shot by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper when he did not drop his weapon as commanded was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday for charges related to the incident.

“I’d just like to say I’m sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused,” Charles R. “Chuck” Dinneen, 46, said at his sentencing in Saline County District Court. “I wish I could take it all back.”

Dinneen pleaded guilty in July to threatening and attempting to kidnap his former girlfriend and then fleeing and eluding law enforcement on snow-packed, icy roads March 20.

Attorney W. Rex Lorson, who represented Dinneen, argued Tuesday for supervised probation for his client, who he said has strong family and community support.

“He’s a good man who was emotionally distraught over the breakup of a longtime relationship, and he was not thinking clearly about what he was doing,” Lorson said.

But Judge Rene Young agreed with Saline County Attorney Ellen Mitchell that Dinneen should go to prison.

“Your actions in this case were simply too serious and dangerous to grant probation,” she said.

Young imposed sentences of 36 months for attempted kidnapping, six months for criminal threat and six months for fleeing and eluding law enforcement. She said the sentences were to be served one after another. Dinneen will also have two years of post-release supervision.

Dinneen was ordered to pay $193 in restitution for a cell phone he broke that belonged to his ex-girlfriend, $190 in court costs, $200 for DNA testing and a $100 defense fee.

According to preliminary hearing testimony, Dinneen threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and forced her into his car before she escaped on the morning of March 20.

He returned to his house in Smolan, where he climbed out a second-story window and jumped off the roof before leading troopers on a vehicle chase on icy roads from Smolan to Emmanuel Christian Center, 1325 E. Cloud. There, he left his car and attempted to enter the church through a new entrance under construction.

“He was headed to his church to speak to his pastor,” Lorson said Tuesday.

Dinneen had a gun in his hand. Troopers repeatedly commanded him to drop the gun, and then he failed to do so, they shot him twice with a stun gun. When that seemed to have no effect, he was shot with a real gun, according to officers who testified at a preliminary hearing in May.

Mitchell determined in May that the trooper was justified in shooting Dinneen when he failed to drop his weapon.

“He was injured as a result of a situation he created,” Mitchell said Tuesday.

n Reporter Erin Mathews can be reached at 822-1415 or by e-mail at [email protected].

©Salina Journal