April 30, 2014

Donah takes plea deal; will not face May trial


“That’s what our victim wanted — for him to take accountability. I think that was accomplished by the guilty plea.”


Donah’s attorney, Greg LaDuke, called the concurrent one-year sentence “a freebie — you’re not going to serve any more time (than already sentenced).”

His client, he said, will be out of jail next summer.

“When he’s out, he’s out. No probation, no sex-offender registry.”

The misdemeanor convictions are a far cry from what prosecutors had aimed for, LaDuke said. His client could have been looking at up to 75 years in state prison had he been found guilty of rape, attempted rape and other felony charges, he said.


And with only misdemeanors convictions, LaDuke said, it’s possible the door hasn’t been slammed and locked on Donah’s job as a state trooper.

The conclusion of all three cases meant a gag order ordered by McGill ended on Tuesday, so State Police Troop B Commander Major Richard Smith was able to tell the Press-Republican that Donah had been fired on Feb. 14, soon after his Feb. 5 convictions. 

Donah, he said, violated the oath under the Public Officers Law.

Had the former trooper been convicted of a felony, LaDuke said, he would have no recourse.

“When you’re convicted with a misdemeanor, they can boot you, but you have the right to a hearing,” he said.

There’s a gray area in Donah’s case, as he will be incarcerated for a while, he added, “(but) we weren’t really worried about that this week.”


While it might appear Donah got off easy with the plea agreement, Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne said, the time he will spend in Clinton County Jail would likely exceed the stretch he might have seen in state prison, even for rape.

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