Ellsworth man with with prior convictions sent back to jail for 21 days

Posted Aug. 11, 2011, at 9:31 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A local man with prior convictions for reckless conduct and for attempting to smuggle opiate medications into Hancock County Jail was sent back to jail Thursday for 21 days.

James C. Klausky, 21, violated his probation by going out drinking with friends in Bar Harbor in May, according to officials.

Klausky’s ongoing legal troubles stem from January 2008, when he was behind the wheel of a car that went off the road in Franklin and struck a tree. Klausky, whose tests revealed had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 percent shortly after the accident, sustained serious injuries in the collision as did a passenger in the vehicle. He initially was charged with criminal operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants, aggravated assault, reckless conduct and driving to endanger.

In January 2009, he pleaded no contest to charges of OUI and reckless conduct and was sentenced to 11 months in jail with all but 90 days suspended. He also was ordered to serve a year of probation and to pay a $2,000 fine.

But while he was serving his jail time, Klausky got into trouble again. He tested positive for suboxone while at the jail and was caught trying to sneak the same prescription medication into the jail as he returned from a work release program at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital. He ended up serving another nine months behind bars, according to his defense attorney, Jeff Toothaker of Ellsworth.

Klausky got out of jail last summer and, up until May, managed to stay out of trouble, Toothaker said.

On Thursday, Klausky was back in court again, accompanied by his friends and family, as Justice Robert Murray considered how much more time he should have to spend behind bars.

Carletta Bassano, Hancock County District Attorney, told the judge that Klausky should have to spend another six months behind bars.

“The state’s concern is that he doesn’t fully understand the consequences of his conduct,” Bassano said.

Klausky’s parents, Robert and Kathleen Klausky, told the judge that their son had changed his life for the better since he was caught trying to sneak pills into Hancock County Jail. He has been working hard all summer for Wallace Tent & Party Rentals and has been going to college in southern Maine, they said.

“He has dreams of becoming a surgical technician,” Robert Klausky said.

James Klausky told the judge that going back to jail for six months to listen to inmates talk about drugs and crime would be a setback to the progress he has made. He said he violated his probation in Bar Harbor because he gave in to peer pressure.

“I’m not the person I used to be,” he said.

The problem he had with opiates, he said, stemmed from the medical treatment he received in the wake of the January 2008 accident. He has been able to stay away from opiates by staying busy with school, work, and volunteering with his girlfriend, he said.

“I’m just one of those people that needs to be kept constantly busy,” Klausky said.

Murray told Klausky that, despite the changes he has made in his life, he still needs to abide by the consequences of his past behavior.

“You make reference to that not being you, but it is you,” Murray told the defendant. “You need to live with that.”

Murray told Klausky that his probation conditions will stay in place and that he will face more time behind bars if he violates his probation again. When the court proceeding ended, Klausky’s family and friends hugged him before he was led away to jail to immediately begin serving his 21-day probation revocation.

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