Matt Swearengin firstname.lastname@example.org
May 9, 2014
An off-duty Durant police officer charged with DUI pleaded guilty on Friday to a reduced charge of reckless driving.
Brandon Scott Carbaugh 36, was given a one-year deferred sentenced and fined $500, according to a court document.
Carbaugh was charged in October 2013 after he rolled his pickup on Highway 91 near Achille, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, who said he was under the influence of alcohol.
He was not arrested after the accident but was taken to the hospital to be treated for arm and leg injuries.
Erik Johnson, an assistant district attorney in Coal County, was appointed by District Attorney Emily Redman to prosecute the case.
Johnson said that although he can’t speak for all prosecutors, he knows of several cases he has handled where a reduced charge in a DUI case was offered when the person didn’t have a prior criminal history or it would have had an adverse consequence on the defendant’s employment.
He said he looks at cases on a case-by-case basis rather than using a “cookie cutter” criteria for all cases because the very nature of justice is that the punishment should fit the crime, and also, if Carbaugh had been involved in an accident with another vehicle or there had been a child in the car, the plea would not have been offered.
“I just looked at the facts in the case, his employment history, his reputation in the community, and I made a judgment call,” Johnson said.
“I don’t feel he was treated any differently than anyone else in that set of circumstances.”
Carbaugh was placed on paid administrative leave with the Durant Police Department after the charge was filed. A phone call to Police Chief Durward Cook was not returned Friday afternoon, however, according to Johnson, Carbaugh is still employed with the department.
Matt Swearengin can be reached at 924-4388 or DDDEditor@Twitter.com