November 20, 2013

Mooers man pleads not guilty to manslaughter, other charges

Ronald Trombly accused of driving drunk and killing Ashley A. Poissant

PLATTSBURGH — On Tuesday, Ronald R. Trombly pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and numerous other charges in connection with the death of Ashley A. Poissant of Champlain.

Dressed in a plaid shirt and jeans, the Mooers man, 85, sat silently beside defense attorney Allan Cruikshank as he entered a not-guilty plea for him on each of the eight charges.

Cruikshank was standing in for Trombly’s counsel, Stanley Cohen, who was out of the country. Clinton County Court Judge Kevin Ryan presided.

Members of both the Poissant and Trombly families filled courtroom seating to capacity.


State Police said Trombly was drunk when he hit Poissant, 27, with his car on May 20 as she was jogging at dusk along Perry’s Mills Road in Champlain.

She died the next day from injuries sustained in the crash.

After a Clinton County grand jury did not indict Trombly on any charges in July, Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie petitioned to have the case resubmitted to another panel.

Then, on Friday, Nov. 15, Trombly was indicted on all the original charges: second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, all felonies; third-degree assault and two counts of driving while intoxicated, all misdemeanors; and two counts of failure to use due care to avoid a pedestrian, a violation.


In a news conference following the arraignment, Wylie said Trombly was unable to provide a breath sample at the crash site, but a sample of his blood was taken at CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh at 10:17 p.m. May 20, about 90 minutes after the his vehicle struck Poissant.

The New York State Forensic Science Laboratory in Albany returned a .12 percent blood-alcohol content.

“It may have been higher,” Wylie said of Trombly’s intoxication level immediately following the crash.

A blood-alcohol content of .08 or higher is considered driving while intoxicated, according to the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

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