RP murder suspect arraigned
Daniel Dieters faces life term if convicted in stabbing death of 22-year-old Roy K. Kauwe
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By Dave Williams  March 28, 2014 12:00 am

A Rohnert Park man faces a possible term of of life in prison should he be convicted for the March 20 murder of a 22-year-old man.

Daniel James Dieters, 25, at his arraignment hearing on Tuesday, March 25, was charged with stabbing to death Roy K. Kauwe, also of Rohnert Park. Statements made by Dieters and a woman led Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety officers to believe the killing was related to a love triangle.

Following Dieters’ arraignment, Kauwe’s father, however, disputed the notion his son and the woman were romantically involved and said they were merely friends. They were co-workers at Costco in Rohnert Park. 

His father, in a published report, also said they were visiting Kauwe’s sister the day his son died. Roy Kauwe’s sister, Melissa Kauwe-Warner, had dropped the two off at his apartment before the stabbing took place. 

Kauwe’s father believes Dieters, a security guard at the Graton Resort & Casino, grew angry at the sight of his son and the woman together and then overpowered his son, who was a smaller man than Dieters.

Rohnert Park Public Safety Officers found Kauwe dead in his Edgewood Apartment on Laguna Drive shortly after 11 p.m. with multiple stab wounds to the neck area. Also, the pocketknife, which police believe to be the weapon used, was found near Kauwe’s body.

Police were dispatched after a 911 call from Dieters, saying he had murdered his friend. Dieters, after making the call, waited in the parking lot of the apartment complex per the instructions of the dispatcher, according to Sgt. Jeff Justice.

Dieters, who appeared in court in a blue jail uniform, was appointed a public defender, Lynne Stark-Slater. He is charged with murder and the use of a knife as well as burglary for entering Kauwe’s home with the intent of committing a crime.

The families of both Dieters and Kauwe were in the courtroom. Dieters, who remains in custody, was ordered by the judge to return to court on April 15 to enter a plea. He is being held without bail.

Dieters is charged with murder and use of a knife along with burglary for allegedly entering Kauwe's home with the intention of committing a crime, Stark-Slater said.

Life in prison is a strong possibility if convicted. But he could be found guilty of a lesser charge – voluntary manslaughter, which carries a far less harsh penalty – if it’s proved it was a sudden quarrel or a crime in the heat of passion. 

And there is the possibility Dieters’ defense attorneys could argue self-defense and try for an acquittal.

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