A 19-time drunken driver arrested on alcohol possession charges three days after a judge spared him a stiff prison sentence could spend the next three years behind bars, prosecutors said Tuesday.
William Rylan Beall, 65 of Santa Rosa, violated the terms of his probation by keeping wine and hard liquor in his Oakmont house, Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Brockley said.
The alcohol was discovered in a police search Saturday night. On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Julie Conger said she would sentence Beall to six months in jail for his latest DUI conviction but he could serve it in an alcohol treatment facility.
However, if he failed to comply with probation before the sentence was imposed Jan. 21, he would get a three-year prison sentence, she said.
"We gave him his chance," Brockley said. "He took advantage of it."
Beall appeared in court wearing glasses and a blue jailhouse uniform. He did not enter a plea.
A different judge, Rene Chouteau, agreed to put the matter over to Monday for arraignment.
Beall's lawyer, Steve Weiss, said outside court that Beall did not have sufficient time to remove the alcohol from his home. He said a friend would be called to testify about arrangements to pick up the booze.
"They're not interested in the circumstances," Weiss said. "They're interested in gotcha."
But prosecutors said Beall had ample opportunity to rid his house of alcohol.
"He had three days," Brockley said. "An hour would be enough time."
Also, Weiss defended Conger's reasons for granting the six-month sentence, saying they were "still intact."
Beall had been sober since 2002 and fell off the wagon in July after suffering health and business problems, he said.
"The court shouldn't put the sentence aside because a portion of the public that is not fully informed is outraged about the case," Weiss said.
Beall's record of drunken driving spans 44 years, beginning in 1966. He had seven convictions in the 1970s, five in the 1980s, four in the 1990s and one in 2002, prior to his most recent conviction. He also had six arrests that did not lead to convictions.
He was given probation six times and required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. In 1988, he was sent to prison for two years.
In July, he was arrested while driving to a Santa Rosa 7-Eleven store, where he hit a parking curb and stumbled out of the car. He refused to submit to an alcohol test.
Probation officials recommended two years in state prison. He would get an additional year for violating probation. Tuesday's hearing was attended by officials from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"In my 20-year career, he's had more prior DUIs than I've ever seen," Brockley said.