SHOW LOW — Embattled local chiropractor Kenly Ries was in the Navajo County Superior Court again on Sept. 9 and admitted that he violated his probation in the domestic violence choking case that looked liked it had resolved in his favor in August 2019.
In July last year Ries entered into an agreement with the county attorney’s office in connection with the Oct. 31, 2018 domestic violence incident at the home that he shared at the time with his children and their mother. The agreement required Ries to be sentenced to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for breaking a door. He also pleaded guilty to a Class 5 Felony arising from the choking allegation, but the court did not enter a felony judgment against him, and would not enter that judgment against him as long as he complied with the terms of a three year probation. One of the terms was that he not consume or possess alcohol.
According to the State of Arizona, Ries did not comply with that term. In fact, Ries is charged with three new felony crimes for driving under the influence of alcohol with a minor child in the car. The new charges were filed June 2, and include an allegation of child abuse, a Class 4 Felony. To the new charges, Ries has pleaded not guilty and is presumed by law to be innocent. But he admitted to violating his probation in the choking case by possessing alcohol in November 2019 and for providing eight “diluted” urine samples over the course of several months.
In its normal course of supervision, the probation department will test samples for drug metabolites and/or for elevated liver enzymes which show recent alcohol consumption. Although the body destroys alcohol over several hours, enzymes tell the tale. If a sample is “diluted,” meaning the donor chugged a bunch of water before the test, or diluted the sample with water, it is considered a failed test. On Sept. 9 Ries admitted the violation and the court formally accepted his guilty plea to the felony charge which the court had deferred accepting and Ries now has a felony conviction of record.
As a “disposition,” as it’s called to a probation violation, Ries was placed back on supervised probation for the case that resolved in August 2019. But he now has a felony which happened prior to his new felony DUI-related charges, and now goes into the new charges as a previously-convicted felon. That will certainly affect the sentence under Arizona’s sentencing laws if he pleads guilty to, or is convicted of, the pending felonies. This is bad news for Ries. Apart from any criminal penalty he may suffer, it is expected that the Arizona Board of Chiropractic Examiners will take action to revoke his professional license which they typically do for a felony conviction.
With regard to the new charges, Ries allegedly operated a vehicle with a child under the age of 15 years in the vehicle while he was impaired to the slightest degree by alcohol. The second DUI charge alleges that within two hours of driving, Ries provided a sample of bodily fluid which showed an alcohol concentration above the legal limit of .08 or greater. The type of test and the specific results are not yet known. These are both Class 6 Felonies and carry a minimum sentenced of four months in prison, not jail.
Ries’ next court date on the new charges is Oct. 15.