Four Potter County Defendants Accepted into ARD Program

COUDERSPORT – Four Potter County defendants were recently accepted into the ARD program in Potter County court.

Timothy J. Matteson, 23, of Roulette, was placed on ARD for a term of 12 months. Matteson was arrested for DUI and taken to CCMH for a blood draw after police detected an odor of marijuana in his vehicle during a sobriety checkpoint in November of 2011. Matteson, who originally admitted to smoking marijuana but told police he did not smoke in his vehicle, later retracted his statement and admitted to police he had smoked in his car. Matteson is currently released on $25,000 unsecured bail for an unrelated incident in which he is accused of having inappropriate contact with a 9-year-old girl.

Ralph Stout, 30, of Coudersport, was placed on ARD for a term of 12 months. Stout was arrested by State Police in January of this year after crashing his car along Route 6. Police said they originally made contact with Stout as he walking along the roadway. He originally told troopers his car had broken down, but upon arrival at the scene police discovered he had crashed into a rock embankment approximately 18 feet off the highway. Stout was taken to CCMH for a blood alcohol test and his BAC was determined to be .19%.

Beth M. Carr, 42, of Shinglehouse, was placed on ARD for a term of 12 months. Carr was arrested in December of 2011 after Shinglehouse police officer Adam Dickerson witnessed her pull out of a driveway and then crash into a telephone pole. According to an affidavit of probable cause, Carr told police her windows were frosted and she did not realize she was traveling off the roadway until she struck the pole. Carr was taken to CCMH for a blood draw, where her BAC was determined to be .17%. She was later transported home.

Lester E. Ernst, 70, of Port Allegany, was placed on ARD for a term of 12 months. Ernst was stopped by State Police in February of this year after he was clocked at 75 mph along Route 6. According to Trooper Chad Savannah, Ernst made a right-hand turn onto Fishing Creek Road after he began pursuing Ernst’s red Chevrolet S-10 truck. Trooper Savannah stated in an affidavit of probable cause that Ernst told him he was attempting to chase down a gas well water truck, as they had been “speeding and jake braking past his house.” When asked how much he had to drink, Ernst allegedly told the officer, “too much to be doing this.” A blood alcohol test conducted at CCMH determined Ernst’s BAC to be .15%.

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program is a means to accelerate the court process in criminal cases such as first offense DUI’s that would not jeopardize the general public’s safety if the defendant were allowed back on the streets. While participating in ARD, defendants are supervised by the probation department and must adhere to probation guidelines, as well as any court orders imposed. If a defendant fails to complete the program, they may be subject to defend themselves against all original charges.

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