June 24, 2018
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Spruce Head man sentenced for coming to OUI trial drunk

John R. Whoriskey
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 47-year-old Spruce Head man who came drunk to his operating under the influence trial two weeks ago will be spending 30 days in jail after a district court judge reluctantly accepted an agreement reached between the prosecution and defense.

District Court Judge Kennedy sentenced John R. Whoriskey to 180 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended for operating under the influence and violating a condition of release for coming to the trial under the influence.

Whoriskey had fled the courthouse on Sept. 11 after a judicial marshal detected alcohol on his breath and Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm ordered a breathalyzer test. Judicial Marshal Chris Roes caught Whoriskey a short distance from the courthouse.

Judge John Kennedy said he was reluctant to impose a sentence that normally would be handled by Justice Hjelm who was on vacation Monday.

“This is a pretty light sentence. You should thank Mr. Frier for doing such a good job,” Judge Kennedy said. “I’m somewhat stunned you would come to an OUI trial drunk. I thought I had seen everything but I haven’t.”

Whoriskey was represented by attorney Lawrence Frier of Rockland.

Assistant District Attorney Chris Fernald said there is always an uncertainty when going to trial.

Whoriskey also was placed on probation for a year, lost his driver’s license for three years and was fined $900.

The trial was postponed after he fled and then the jury was released Sept. 14 because some jurors had seen the story in the Bangor Daily News about his fleeing.

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