Jurors leave Pitkin courthouse after attorneys reach plea bargain
October 4, 2014
A jury pool showed up at Pitkin County Court on Thursday morning for a DUI trial, and by 11 a.m., six people were selected.
But the trial never got into full swing in the case against Alfred A. McAlexander, 40, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, who was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving on Maroon Creek Road just before midnight on Feb. 4.
As the trial resumed after a short break, an issue came up involving the prosecution's video evidence, according to courtroom sources. County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely considered the option of calling a mistrial, which might have resulted in a new trial at some future date.
In lieu of going that route, prosecutors Megan Moses and Peter Beyel, of the 9th Judicial District Attorney's Office, worked out a plea agreement with defense attorney Lawson Wills, and the jury was dismissed.
McAlexander agreed to a nine-month deferred judgment, with unsupervised probation, on the lesser charge of driving while ability impaired. Fernandez-Ely ordered him to pay $538 in fees and assessments and to complete 24 hours of community service in Florida as part of the plea bargain.
McAlexander also must take part in a substance-abuse evaluation in Florida, according to court documents.
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"There were some issues involving some evidence and an issue about a video, so he ended up taking the deal," Moses said.
Because he received a deferred judgement on the DWAI, McAlexander won't be required to pay the standard fine of as much as $500 associated with the misdemeanor offense. Should he violate terms of his unsupervised probation, the District Attorney's Office can bring the DWAI charge back into play.
In Colorado, a DUI charge typically involves a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater. A DWAI is charged those with a blood-alcohol content between 0.05 and 0.079 percent.