“We weren't afraid of going to trial. We had a viable strategy for going to trial,” Adler said. “A plea bargain is a risk-management decision. My client made the decision that it wasn't worth the risk to go to trial.”
Two co-defendants in the case previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the Feb. 15, 2011, attack.
Jimmy Dan Smith, 30, of Tuttle, pleaded guilty in February to an assault and battery charge and received a 10-year prison sentence. He was accused of punching Peery while Rinken held the officer.
A third man, Cadmio Lopez, 33, of Newcastle, pleaded guilty in November to an assault and battery charge and was later sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was accused of preventing people — including Peery's father — from coming to the aid of Peery.
Disturbance at bar
Peery was hurt as he escorted the men out of Dan O'Brien's Public House. Employees who knew Peery was a police officer sought his help because of a disturbance inside the bar.
Police said Rinken, an oil-field worker, started the fight, hitting the officer in the face at the doorway of the bar. The beginning of the assault was recorded by a surveillance camera.
Witnesses said Smith and Rinken punched the officer while Lopez kept others from interceding, police reported. Rinken is seen at one point holding the obviously unconscious officer from behind and in an upright position, police reported.
“Rinken is then seen dropping or throwing officer Peery down to the ground,” police said.
“The criminal justice system in a case like this can't deliver the only result that everyone wants to see, and that's for Chad to get up and walk again,” Adler said.