Police, Fire, Courts

July 10, 2012

Clinton County Court: July 10, 2012

PLATTSBURGH — The Clinton County District Attorney’s Office successfully convicted three repeat felony DWI offenders following recent jury trials.

Thomas Ormsby, 40, of Plattsburgh; Robert F. Collins, 44, of Beekmantown; and Barbara A. Knapp, 43, of Beekmantown; all had prior felony DWI convictions, according to a release from the DA, and were also previously charged at the misdemeanor level for same offense.

Ormsby’s felony charge of driving while intoxicated stemmed from an incident on July 25, 2011, when police pulled him over on State Route 3 in the Town of Plattsburgh in the late evening hours for not having his 1998 Ford F250 pickup truck’s headlights on.

Ormsby subsequently failed standardized field sobriety tests. He also provided a breath sample that determined his BAC was .08 percent.

He told police he had drunk beer so quickly that his BAC was below .08 percent when he was actually driving.


Collins was convicted following a four-day trial, facing charges stemming from an incident that occurred in the early morning hours of July 3, 2011, while he was driving his white Chevy in the Town of Beekmantown.

After police pulled him over for speeding, Collins ran and ended up Tasered by police. He failed standardized field-sobriety tests and refused to give a breath sample, telling police he had not been driving the vehicle.

Later, Collins admitted that he was behind the wheel, but said the Taser exposure and a subsequent fall caused him to fail the sobriety test.

An expert witness rebutted Collins’s excuse in court, describing the effects a Taser can have on an individual, according to the release.

Both men were convicted of Class E felonies for each having a prior DWI conviction and will face 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. They both now have three alcohol-related driving convictions.

Ormsby and Collins appeared in Clinton County Court before Hon. Kevin K. Ryan and were remanded to Clinton County Jail without bail, where they were to remain until sentencing.

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