Rob Rutherford, 57, of Idyllwild, will have no more court hearings for a while. After another arrest for driving under the influence, he pleaded guilty on June 18 to a felony charge of driving under the influence and blood alcohol level greater than .08 percent.
Judge Jorge C. Hernandez accepted his plea, but refused any further probation.
He sentenced Rutherford to three years in Riverside County Jail. The last two years may be suspended. However, according to John Hall, information specialist, for the District Attorney’s Office, Rutherford receives “one year in jail followed by two years of mandatory supervision … which is a higher level of supervision.”
Rutherford is being held at the county’s Larry Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. He will be there through the end of the year, at least, according to Chief Deputy for Correction Operations Geoff Raya.
Rutherford signed and acknowledged his felony plea prior to sentencing. The case disposition also cost him nearly $2,900 in fines and penalties. Following his release, he must register for an 18-month Offender Drinking Driver program.
According to Hall, this was Rutherford’s fourth arrest for driving under the influence.
In February, Rutherford was arrested driving under the influence after he ran over a sculpted deer in front of the Idyllwild Inn. The damaged deer was one of 22 painted deer sculptures, which the Art Alliance of Idyllwild placed throughout Idyllwild.
The initial story of the damage to this deer was reported in the Feb. 12 issue of the Town Crier. During the following week, Rutherford called the paper and denied his involvement in the incident. However, California Highway Patrol had his license plate number and made an arrest the night of the incident.
He stressed that it was not his car, although two CHP officers reported that the car that appeared to damage the deer is registered to Rutherford. He did not respond to this statement.