Local News

January 9, 2013

Woman caught after 6 years

HOGANSBURG — A woman who disappeared after ramming her car into a propane tank in an attempt to detonate it in 2005 was sentenced to state prison Monday.

Venus Swamp, 44, of Christine Lane, who is also known as Jeannie Swamp, was indicted in June 2006 for first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree criminal mischief.

Prosecutors said that, on May 21, 2005, Swamp got into a verbal argument with longtime friend Lois Tarbell, who did not want to have Swamp at her home and had asked her to leave.

Tarbell told investigators that Swamp left but returned a few minutes later, telling Tarbell she had no right to tell her to leave.

Swamp then said she was going to drive her 1994 Oldsmobile into an outdoor propane tank attached to the house and blow the place up.

Tarbell reported that Swamp got in her vehicle, barreled down the driveway toward her manufactured home “really fast” and smashed into the propane tank.

It did not explode.

Tarbell said her 4-year-old son was sitting on the floor inside the home on the other side of the wall where the crash occurred but was not hurt, prosecutors said.

Following the crash, Swamp got out of the car and ran down the road, where she was caught a short time later.

She was charged with reckless endangerment for her actions with the vehicle and with criminal mischief for damaging the trailer’s cinder-block foundation.

Swamp was taken to County Jail and released to a rehabilitation center for treatment for alcohol abuse.

But when her treatment concluded on Feb. 6, 2006, Swamp disappeared, prosecutors said.

She was indicted by a grand jury on June 8, 2006, and a warrant for her arrest had been in effect since then.

She was arrested Sept. 13, 2012, on a misdemeanor harassment charge.

Tarbell sent a letter to prosecutors, asking that the charges against Swamp be dropped.

She said she and Swamp were close friends and that, even though alcohol abuse got in the way, they remained friends after the incident.

Swamp appeared in County Court on Monday and was sentenced by Judge Robert G. Main Jr. to one to three years in state prison and must pay $434.55 in restitution.

Email Denise A. Raymo:

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