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Airboat skipper smoked weed before fatal crash, test shows. But he can’t be charged

The airboat that crashed last year in the Everglades, killing recent University of Miami graduate Elizabeth Goldenberg. Prosecutors this week decided they could not criminally charge the craft’s skipper.

The airboat that crashed last year in the Everglades, killing recent University of Miami graduate Elizabeth Goldenberg. Prosecutors this week decided they could not criminally charge the craft’s skipper. Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office
A veteran airboat captain had a high level of marijuana in his blood when his boat flipped in the Everglades, hurling tourists into the swamp and drowning a recent University of Miami graduate pinned under the craft.

But nearly a year after the crash, prosecutors this week ruled out charging Steve George Gagne with any crime, including boating under the influence.

The reason: Witnesses said Gagne showed no signs of being high before the crash that killed 22-year-old Elizabeth Goldenberg, according to a newly released report by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. But the concentration of THC, the active compound in marijuana, in his blood was nearly triple what would have gotten him arrested in states where marijuana use is legal such as Colorado or Washington.

Florida has no such law and the case underscores the unsettled standards surrounding use of marijuana. Even as more states legalize marijuana for recreational or medical use, there is no consensus — in the law, science or medicine — on how best to measure whether someone is stoned while behind the wheel of a boat or a car.

http://amp.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article202864709.html

Doc accused of violating probation: I don’t have money for attorney

Former doctor's probation violation hearing set next week

ANDERSON — Former Pendleton physician Eric Jones, who faces an allegation of parole violation, said during a court hearing Wednesday that he doesn’t have the money to hire an attorney.

Jones, 47, had his initial hearing Wednesday following his arrest on Feb. 20 in Hamilton County on misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, operating a vehicle with alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.15 blood alcohol content or more and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The state limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent.

Jones is serving six years on probation after pleading guilty to charges of dealing in drugs, perjury and voyeurism.

The terms of his probation prohibited the use of alcohol and not to commit another criminal offense.

Judge Thomas Newman, Madison Circuit Court Division 3, could sentence him to six years in prison for violating probation.

Jones is being detained at the Madison County Jail without bond.

“I’m confused right now,” Jones told Criminal Magistrate Steve Clase. “I thought a hearing was going to happen today. I assumed I would go before Judge Newman and my family and friends could speak on my behalf.”

Jones is scheduled to appear before Judge Newman at 10:30 a.m. next Wednesday on the probation violation.

When asked by Clase if he would hire an attorney, Jones said a week ago he had $130 to his name.

“I don’t have any money,” he said. “The only way to hire an attorney is if my parents will pay. I don’t think they will.”

Jones was sentenced in 2016 through a plea agreement to six years probation.

He pleaded guilty to felony charges of two counts of dealing in a controlled substance, one count each of unlawful dispensation of a controlled substance, perjury, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. He also entered guilty pleas to two misdemeanor charges of voyeurism.

At the time of his sentencing the state dismissed 26 other charges.

His attorney, Bryan Williams, said at the time of sentencing it was the appropriate outcome for the case.

“It’s not likely that Dr. Jones will find himself back involved with the legal system,” he said.

At the plea hearing Jones admitted to providing controlled substances to patients when not medically necessary and for failing to keep proper records.

Jones admitted to recording sexual activity with two patients without their consent or knowledge, which led to the conviction on the voyeurism charges.

Previous affidavits include allegations that Jones conducted “botox” parties arranged through a Carmel modeling agency.

According to a court affidavit, the DEA found a video on a computer dated June 25, 2014, in which Jones is having sex with a patient in his office.

According to the affidavit, in a February 2014 text message recorded from one of the doctor’s cellphones, the same patient asks to pick up a prescription for the drug Adderall at the Pendleton office.

“I think you owe me an office visit,” Jones reportedly wrote in a text. “I guess … but we better get naked soon. Your envelope is at the front desk.”

http://www.goshennews.com/indiana/news/former-pendleton-doc-accused-of-violating-probation-i-don-t/article_b1d98579-96a2-5390-9175-70fc053ce837.html

Fetty Wap ordered to pay fine after pleading guilty to drunk drag racing

A judge ordered Fetty Wap to pay a fine and attend safe driving programs after the rapper admitted to drag racing while drunk on a Brooklyn highway last year.

The New Jersey-born hip hop artist, whose real name is Willie Maxwell, avoided trial and pleaded guilty Thursday to reckless endangerment and driving while intoxicated, his attorney Chris DiLorenzo said.

Maxwell, 26, was behind the wheel of his 2012 Mercedes Benz on the Gowanus Expressway by the Hamilton Ave. exit in Red Hook on Nov. 3 when he was busted for a host of offenses including reckless endangerment, illegal speed contest, drunken driving, aggravated unlicensed operation of a car and illegal lane changing.

Zaine Richards, 31, who was tailing Maxwell in another car, was also arrested.

http://www.nydailynews.com/amp/new-york/nyc-crime/fetty-wap-pay-fine-pleading-guilty-drunk-drag-racing-article-1.3849539

Jamestown woman driving stolen car while under the influence

A Jamestown woman was charged with driving under the influence of drugs when stopped in what turned out to be a stolen vehicle, police said.

Stephanie A. Gould, 33, was stopped near the intersection of Barrows and English streets at about 8:45 a.m. Saturday, according to Jamestown police. She was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, unlawful possession of marijuana, criminal possession of stolen property and driving with a suspended license.

A man in the car with Gould attempted to flee when the vehicle was pulled over, but was caught nearby, police said. The man, Samuel L. Critzer, 31, also of Jamestown, had three outstanding bench warrants, police said. Critzer was charged with those bench warrants as well as resisting arrest.

http://buffalonews.com/2018/02/25/jamestown-woman-driving-stolen-car-while-under-the-influence-police-say/

St. Charles Parish president begins diversion program to avoid DWI prosecution

Larry Cochran mug

St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran on Thursday began participating in a substance-abuse treatment program in an effort to avoid prosecution on a charge of driving while intoxicated last year, Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick’s office said.

Office spokesman Paul Purpura said Cochran enrolled in a six-month “diversion” program.

Cochran was eligible for the program, which he must complete to avoid facing trial, because it was the first time he was cited for DWI when police pulled him over in the early morning hours of Sept. 2.

Enrolling in the diversion program requires participants to accept responsibility for the offenses they are accused of, though it does not constitute a guilty plea.

Cochran’s attorney, Wiley Beevers, maintains his client was not impaired on the night he was pulled over. But the law prohibits drivers from having any trace of a controlled dangerous substance — such as a painkiller — in their system, Beevers said.

Cochran, 55, tested positive for a combination of prescription painkillers but had no detectable alcohol in his system after he was pulled over.

“We were very happy the district attorney afforded us this opportunity,” Beevers said about the diversion program. “And we are availing ourselves of it.”

Cochran was pulled over after police received a call about his Chevy Tahoe weaving over the roadway and even going onto the neutral ground on Joe Yenni Boulevard in north Kenner.

An officer pulled the car over, and Cochran performed poorly on a field sobriety test while displaying bloodshot eyes and slow speech, police said.

Police said Cochran made unusual remarks to officers, telling them, “I guess this means I should fill out my resignation papers,” and also bit off the mouthpiece of an alcohol testing device.

They suspected he was impaired by drugs and jailed him on counts of driving under the influence as well as reckless driving. A blood test showed the presence of oxycodone, hydrocodone and oxymorphone.

Beevers said Cochran had been prescribed the first two drugs, commonly sold as Oxycontin and Vicodin, because of surgeries. Oxymorphone is a byproduct of oxycodone and not a separate drug, he said.

Beevers said his client had not taken the medications for several days before he was pulled over and denied he was driving recklessly. “He was not impaired,” he said.

Participants in the Jefferson diversion program are required to blow into a device preventing anyone intoxicated from starting a car. They also must undergo counseling, take drug and alcohol tests, and meet with a Mothers Against Drunk Driving panel.

 http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/crime_police/article_de96dbee-1813-11e8-966f-0334f2f724cc.html