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Fri., Sep. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Massena woman sentenced to one weekend in jail for cocaine possession conviction


MASSENA - A Massena woman charged with multiple drug and weapon charges following an investigation into a property damage accident in early August on South Main Street has been sentenced to serve one weekend in the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility for a misdemeanor drug conviction.

Donna L. Doman, 23, of 55 South Main St., Norfolk, formerly of Parker Avenue, Massena, pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Massena Village Justice Eric J. Gustafson placed Doman under a one-year conditional discharge and ordered her to serve one weekend in the county jail, from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday. She was also ordered to pay a $205 surcharge and a $50 fee to have a sample of her DNA submitted to the state database.

Doman is currently on probation for a May 2011 third-degree forgery conviction. That sentence expires in August.

“I’m not certain another probationary sentence is going to do you any good. It is my hope I’m not going to see you back here and my real hope is we don’t have to chase you this weekend. If we do, you will be looking at a lot more than one weekend in jail,” he said, stressing she needed to be on time, sober and not on any non-prescribed medications when she appeared at the jail.

St. Lawrence County Assistant Public Defender Alison B. Appleby suggested her client had taken many positive steps in recent weeks.

“She has successfully completed in-patient treatment and is enrolled in an extensive out-patient program. My client is a severe diabetic and she started on an insulin pump about a month ago. She is also on suboxone treatment,” Ms. Appleby said.

The defense attorney said Doman’s attitude had changed in recent months and now realizes that she needs to be sober and make her health and well being her priority.

Doman expanded on that theme. “I now realize there are reasons for rules and regulations, realize there are consequences for my actions. I don’t always make the right choices, but I am trying to go in the right direction,” she told Judge Gustafson.

She acknowledged at the time she took the plea she had inferred she would prefer jail time to a probationary sentence, but she indicated that was no longer her mindset.

“I wanted jail because I just wanted to get it done and over with. But now I’m willing to do whatever I have to to stay on track,” Doman told the court.

Ms. Appleby had noted a jail sentence could interfere with Doman’s needs for numerous medical appointments in dealing her issues with diabetes as well as the suboxone program aimed at combatting her substance abuse addiction.

Doman had been charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stay in lane, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and reckless driving, as well as two counts of possession of a hypodermic needle, two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a weapon after she was located at 1:01 a.m. Aug. 2, a short time after a property damage accident on Main Street. She was found on Cook Street, apparently passed out in the driver’s seat with the vehicle running, according to police reports.

Police said they responded to Cook Street after receiving a report from a witness who had observed Doman’s vehicle strike a utility pole near the Sunoco station on South Main Street, leave the scene, drive to Cook Street and then appear to pass out behind the wheel of her vehicle.

They said Doman was treated at the scene by Massena Rescue for apparent diabetes-related issues and then turned back over to police.

Police said during an inventory of the vehicle before it was towed they located a switchblade knife in the center console, a yellow container holding a small rock-like substance that tested positive for crack cocaine, a red vial that contained a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine as well as two needles in her purse.

In other recent court action before Judge Gustafson:

■ Michael P. Marashian, 38, of 14 Malby Ave., Massena, was fined $750 and a $400 surcharge for a driving while intoxicated conviction. His operating privileges were revoked for six months.

Village police had charged Marashian with aggravated driving while intoxicated and ticketed him for operation of an uninspected motor vehicle following a traffic stop at 11:19 p.m. Jan. 3, 2013 on East Orvis Street near Howard Street. He reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent. A DWI charge is elevated to aggravated DWI when the blood alcohol content is 0.18 percent or higher.

■ Francis E. Lynch Jr., 55, of 38 Willow St., Apt. 3, Massena, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. The court directed the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for June 10.

He had been charged with driving while intoxicated at 3:43 a.m. April 15 following a traffic stop on South Main Street. His blood alcohol content was reportedly 0.22 percent.

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