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Sun., Nov. 23
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Massena man placed on probation for reckless endangerment conviction

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MASSENA - A 23-year-old Massena man has been placed on probation for three years after he admitted he had nearly struck a police officer when backing out of his driveway last winter after police responded to a 911 hangup call at his parent’s residence.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson fined Zachary Martin-Flanders, also listing a 2860 County Route 27, Russell, address, $100 and a $205 surcharge and placed him on probation for three years for a second-degree reckless endangerment conviction.

The probation department had recommended a jail sentence.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison Appleby had urged the court in January not to sentence Martin to time in the county jail. “My client would very much like a sentence of probationary supervision,” she said, noting her client was willing to continue with mental health and chemical dependency treatment.

Ms. Appleby pointed out if Martin was incarcerated he would lose his SSI payments and his apartment.

His mother told the court in January her son had started to realize he had to make some lifestyle changes to get along, and Martin noted he was prepared to take a new path.

Mr. Gustafson said he was willing to give Martin a chance for probation, but he warned the Massena man he would face substantial jail time if he violated the terms of his sentence.

Village police had charged Martin following an incident on the morning of Jan. 8, 2012.

Police said they responded to a Sunday morning domestic dispute call at Martin’s residence at 29 Martin St., where he lived at the time with his mother and stepfather.

He reportedly ran out of the house, jumped in a vehicle, refused to follow a patrolman’s order to exit the vehicle and then accelerated the engine, backing out of the driveway and nearly striking the police officer, who was standing near the back of the vehicle.

He also allegedly had unplugged the phones inside the residence after his parents told him they were calling the police during the domestic dispute.

The village justice had previously directed Martin to successfully complete an in-patient substance abuse treatment program.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Matthew R. Ayotte, 23, of 282 Hall Road, Massena, was fined $500 and a $400 surcharge for a driving while intoxicated conviction. He was also placed under a one-year conditional discharge and had his operating privileges revoked for six months. He will also be required to have an ignition interlock device placed in his vehicle for six months.

Village police had charged Ayotte with aggravated driving while intoxicated and ticketed him for failure to keep right following a traffic stop at 8:43 p.m. June 18 on South Main Street. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent. Police said they made the traffic stop after they observed Ayotte strike a curb and nearly strike another vehicle.

■ Daniel P. Adams,43, of 44 Roosevelt St., Massena, had his case placed on the trial calendar after the court rejected an offer for a sentencing commitment for no worse than a fine and a conditional discharge, which was requested by defense attorney Denice Goodrich if her client entered a plea to an aggravated driving while intoxicated count.

“Absolutely not,” Mr. Gustafson told Ms. Goodrich. “Looking at his criminal history and a BAC (blood alcohol content) in the 0.26 (percent) range it is obvious to me Mr. Adams hasn’t gotten the message.”

Village police had charged Adams, with aggravated driving while intoxicated following a roadblock stop at 10:40 p.m. Aug. 14 on Main Street. Village police also charged Adams with having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle on a public highway.

He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.26. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher constitutes a driving while intoxicated charge in New York state. The count is elevated to aggravated DWI when the blood alcohol content is 0.18 percent or higher.

Court documents said Adams had two prior drinking and driving arrests, with the most recent taking place in December 2002.

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