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Kloch challenges drunken driver: ”Prove me wrong”

LOCKPORT – A Lockport man avoided jail time Friday, at least for now, for his fourth alcohol-related conviction in the past 4 1/2 years. But State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. predicted it’s not a matter of whether Eric M. Jones violates his probation; it’s a matter of when.

“You’re never going to succeed, sir. I’ll see you back for resentencing,” Kloch told Eric M. Jones, 28, of Lock Street. “Prove me wrong,” the judge added.

Kloch decided to accept a probation officer’s recommendation of three years’ probation for Jones, who was arrested Jan. 10 in the Town of Lockport and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation. Kloch could have sent him to jail for a year on each count, which he still could order if Jones violates the rules.

Kloch told defense attorney George V.C. Muscato, “I don’t know what miracles you worked to get such a favorable recommendation with such a poor case.”

Besides probation, Kloch ordered Jones to pay $1,440 in fines and fees within six months and told him to complete 25 days in the county work program by April 30.