Repeat Offender Gets 3-5 Years in Prison
At a recent sentencing, Judge Michael Smith told the defendant, Ronald Allen Graves who appeared via video from the Hillsdale County Jail, that the state’s guidelines for sentencing of 7 to 23 months, fail to do justice in the wake of the charges.
“The guidelines are totally inaccurate to address these issues.” he said, referring to the fact that Graves has such an extensive record with the court, this being his second felony charge following a list of twenty-four prior misdemeanor charges, fourteen of which are alcohol related.
At the sentencing hearing, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Rodney Hassinger read to the court Graves’ criminal history, saying, “I think his record speaks for itself, your Honor.” But Graves then pointed out to the Judge that he hadn’t been in trouble for seventeen years. The Judge appeared puzzled. “You had a public intoxication in Tennessee in 2010.” he responded.
At which point Graves corrected himself and pointed out that he had actually meant trouble with driving under the influence of alcohol specifically. However, going back over his record, the Judge pointed out that Graves appeared to have switched from alcohol to drugs, accumulating a host of drug charges and resulting jail time.
The sentencing hearing was for a Hillsdale OWI Third that occurred in Reading Township in early August, when Graves was arrested for driving a moped scooter with a blood alcohol count of 0.13. He claims that he had consumed six to eight drinks in a five hour span of time, and then driven home.
Along the way, he swerved to miss a raccoon in the road. But his maneuver had been observed by a police officer, who then pulled him over for erratic driving.
At the arraignment Graves pled guilty to a single count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, third offense. In return for his plea, the prosecution agreed to dismiss the additional charges of possession of marijuana, and operating on a suspended license.
Graves was sentenced by Judge Smith to prison for three to five years.