LOCKPORT – A man who kept using drugs after pleading guilty to driving under the influence was sentenced Wednesday to a year in Niagara County Jail and fines and fees totaling $1,605.
Earl L. Townsend, 39, of Pine Street, Lockport, was given the chance to withdraw his guilty plea to a felony count of driving while intoxicated and go to trial after State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said he couldn’t sentence him to probation, as he had told Townsend he might. Townsend stuck with his admission that he rang up a .20 percent blood alcohol content when he was arrested on Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Lockport Sept. 27, 2014. Deputies said they found cocaine in the vehicle. Townsend failed a drug test a month ago, testing positive for cocaine and marijuana.
Also Wednesday before Kloch, Henry J. Walden Jr., 54, of West State Street, Albion, pleaded not guilty to felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, a lane violation and failure to install an ignition interlock device in his car. Walden allegedly refused the breath test after driving off Walmore Road in Lewiston Sept. 6 and striking a rock on a front lawn.
Deputy District Attorney Theodore A. Brenner said that was Walden’s fifth DWI arrest. He has two previous felony DWI convictions and three non-driving felonies on his record. Kloch set bail at $5,000.