Judge: Dave Dahl to remain free, with conditions

Dave's Killer Bread co-founder arrested in November 2013

Dave Dahl, the co-founder of Dave's Killer Bread, was allowed to remain free under certain conditions, including continued treatment for mental health issues, at a disposition hearing in Hillsboro, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Dave Dahl, the co-founder of Dave's Killer Bread, was allowed to remain free under certain conditions, including continued treatment for mental health issues, at a disposition hearing in Hillsboro, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Dave Dahl, the co-founder and face of Dave’s Killer Bread, will be able to remain free under specific conditions laid out by a judge Friday afternoon.

In November 2013, Dahl led Washington County deputies on a chase and rammed several patrol cars that night. He was having a mental health crisis and was later found guilty except for insanity.

In a disposition hearing Friday afternoon, a judge heard argument from both the prosecution and the defense as to whether Dahl should spend time at a state hospital or have certain conditions while out of custody.

In the end, the judge decided Dahl can remain free under certain conditions. Among those conditions: Dahl can’t drive a car or go to a bar. He must also avoid alcohol, stay on his medication and continue mental health treatment.

Dave Dahl, the co-founder of Dave's Killer Bread, stands next to his attorney Stephen Houze at a disposition hearing in Hillsboro, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Dave Dahl, the co-founder of Dave’s Killer Bread, stands next to his attorney Stephen Houze at a disposition hearing in Hillsboro, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

Court details

Prosecutor Chris Quinn wanted Dahl committed to a state mental hospital and argued his problems go beyond mental health issues.

“He also has what I’m going to call a violence problem towards police officers,” Quinn said.

Defense attorney Steven Houze countered that.

“I’ve watched a rather remarkable transformation that’s testimony not only to the power of medication and proper car for mental illness,” he said, “but also to the character of the individual of Dave Dahl.”

Judge Kirsten Thompson ruled Dahl should remain within the community, with supervision and restrictions.

Washington County Judge KirstenThompson, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Washington County Judge KirstenThompson, Jan. 30, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

“He does not need a hospital level of care today so long as he continues to take his medication, meets routinely with his provider, keep abstinent from any controlled substances,” the judge said.

The conditions of his release:

— Under the supervision of the state psychiatric security review board
— Meet with his case manager twice a month
— Meet with his psychiatrist once a week
— Once-a-month unannounced home visit
— Random drug and alcohol tests
— Not allowed to drive
— Not allowed to go to bars

“I’m very sorry about the things that happened,” Dahl said in court Friday. “But I need to move on and that’s what I’m going to do.”

“I made just an amazing mistake,” he later said. “All I can do is just recover and come back and try and make a difference again.”

He said this is the start of a new chapter, “like I found out more about myself and more about my mental health.”

Dahl said he feels Judge Thompson “made a very reasonable decision and I will comply 100% with that.”

He’ll take the bus or ride a bike or get his fiancee’ to give him a ride, he said, and his band will continue to play — just not in bars.

Dahl told KOIN 6 News he’ll use this experience in his ongoing mission to help others. “I know I can do that. I’ve done it before. I just didn’t help myself enough.”

His October interview

Dave Dahl, founder of Dave's Killer Breads, speaks to KOIN 6 October 9, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Dave Dahl, founder of Dave’s Killer Breads, speaks to KOIN 6 October 9, 2014. (KOIN 6)

In an October interview with KOIN 6 News, Dahl, 52, said he struggled with mental illness and was humbled by his arrest.

During that incident, he was Tased and injured three deputies. It shocked those who looked up to the ex-con, ex-meth addict who turned his life around through Dave’s Killer Bread.

After that incident, doctors diagnosed him as bi-polar.

He told KOIN 6 News he was having a severe manic episode during that clash with police and he is undergoing treatment.

“It goes back to that humility thing,” he said in October. “When I’m being humble, I’m being exactly who I am, and if I’m being exactly who I am, I have to admit I have a mental illness. And if I know I have a mental illness, I can work with that.”

Recently, he started the Dave Dahl Foundation to reach at-risk youth.

KOIN 6 News will have more information later in the day.

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