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.
RAN FROM POLICE
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.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Timothy Blatchley prosecuted the case against Ormsby, and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Evanovich prosecuted Collins’ case.
Knapp’s charges stem from an incident that occurred at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2011, when she appeared to be in an intoxicated condition while driving her 2001 black Saab on Route 9 in The Town of Beekmantown.
After being pulled over, Knapp refused to take a breath test or give a blood sample to police to determine her blood-alcohol content. She later admitted to operating the vehicle and also to consuming a bottle of vodka.
According to the release, Knapp did fail a standardized field-sobriety test.
She was convicted of a Class D felony for driving while intoxicated because of two prior DWI convictions withing the past 10 years, including serving a one-to-three year prison sentence from a 2008 charge in Clinton County.
This was Knapp’s fourth alcohol-related driving conviction.
She appeared in Clinton County Court before Hon. Patrick R. McGill and faces a maximum of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison.
Judge McGill set bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond pending her sentencing scheduled for Aug. 31.
Assistant District Attorney Douglas Collyer prosecuted the case against Knapp.
“Individuals like this present a significant danger to everyone on the roads of Clinton County,” the prosecutors said in a joint statement. “DWI enforcement is a top priority of this office and will continue to be.”