PLATTSBURGH — Ronald R. Trombly, who is charged with manslaughter in the death of a woman who was jogging, rejected a plea offer Thursday from the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office.
Ashley A. Poissant, 27, of Champlain died after Trombly struck her with his 2009 Buick as she was jogging after sunset on Perry Mills Road in Champlain, police have said.
In November 2013, the 85-year-old Mooers man pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, all felonies; third-degree assault and two counts of driving while intoxicated, misdemeanors; and two counts of failure to use due care to avoid a pedestrian, a violation.
As part of the DA’s Office’s plea offer, Trombly would have had to agree to plead guilty to manslaughter and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, said Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Evanovich.
The penalty for the manslaughter charge is three to nine years in state prison and a $5,000 fine, Evanovich said. The DWI would carry a penalty of $1,000 in fines and payment of state surcharges and fees.
The DA’s Office received word Wednesday that a motion Trombly’s attorney had filed with the court citing multiple reasons why the case should be dismissed was denied by Judge Kevin Ryan.
Trombly gave police multiple statements, both at the site of the accident and later at a State Police barracks, according to the case file, which was viewed by the Press-Republican.
In one statement, Trombly said he had two Michelob Light beers at a local bar about an hour before the accident and was headed home at the time of the crash.
Poissant, her friend Angela Bechard and Bechard’s two daughters were jogging “halfway between the center line and the white fog line,” Trombly said, when he encountered them while driving.
He was “unable to avoid contact with all the runners” and “exiting the car, I saw that I had struck one of the runners, and I went into a state of shock,” Trombly said in the statement.
In the police report of the accident, the trooper reported an odor of alcohol apparent on Trombly, as well as glassy eyes, impaired speech and impaired motor function.
A blood test at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh revealed a .12 blood-alcohol content, according to the case file.
In a motion filed by his attorney, the lawyer said police didn’t ask Trombly for consent for the test.
PREVIOUS DWI CHARGE
The Press-Republican confirmed, through Champlain Town Court, that Trombly has been charged with driving while intoxicated before.
He was arrested on May 8, 2004, and was charged with misdemeanor DWI and a turn-signal traffic violation, court records show.
His blood-alcohol content was found to be .18, according to the records.
On June 17, 2004, Trombly pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired, and his license was suspended for 90 days. He also was required to pay $300 in fines and $80 in surcharges.
Trombly’s attorney is Stanley Cohen of New York City.
He is due back in Clinton County Court at 3:30 p.m. March 27.
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