A disabled Sonoma Valley man who was beaten and stabbed in an April attack that galvanized the community appeared in a Santa Rosa courtroom Thursday to face the man accused of the brutal crime.
Austin Ridge, 28, who was recovering from a broken jaw and other injuries, said he wanted to lay eyes on Logan Dunning, 22, of Boyes Hot Springs, who is charged with attempted murder, mayhem and two other felonies.
Ridge said it was the first time he has seen Dunning since the attack. He came to court, he said, because, "I want to see him go down."
Dunning faces a maximum 13 years in prison if convicted, prosecutor Bob Waner said.
"I just want him to go away so I can look out for the other kids," said Ridge, who came to court with his mother, sister and other family. "I don't want to see this happen again."
Dunning, who was arrested last month, postponed entering a plea because he was assigned a new lawyer.
Sitting in a blue jail uniform, Dunning glanced at his own family and a girlfriend seated in the audience as Judge Dana Simonds ordered him back July 26.
Outside court, Ridge's mother said it appeared Dunning was "smirking" at her family.
"He's not taking this seriously," Kimberly Ridge said.
Dunning's mother has said her son is suffering from a mental condition and has sought treatment. She previously said he's "not some kind of monster."
It was unclear if mental competence would be a factor in his defense.
His new lawyer, Joe Stogner, said he will seek input from experts on Dunning's mental health, though he is not conceding his client was involved in the attack.
"While we examine the circumstantial evidence concerning the assault on Austin Ridge, we'll also be looking very closely at Logan Dunning's psychiatric history. We know he's had significant psychiatric episodes in his recent past. We'll need to evaluate these episodes and Logan's psychiatric state now very carefully. We're just beginning that process," Stogner said.
Dunning became a suspect after he was arrested in a series of unrelated car burglaries and arson fires in west Santa Rosa. Detectives said a search of his house turned up a knife with Ridge's DNA on it.
Ridge, who became disabled in a car crash eight years ago, was found lying on the ground April 25 in Boyes Hot Springs with a broken jaw, a fractured nose, head injuries and stab wounds to his arm and torso.
He had been attacked at night while riding his custom tricycle home from a Sonoma Valley pub.
A popular local figure, he received an outpouring of support and recovered enough to ride his trike in the town's Fourth of July parade.
He said he was feeling better Thursday but was scared to be in court with Dunning. However, he suggested he might be better able to cope with it than others.
"I'm just lucky it happened to me and not some other kid," Ridge said.