New England man requests court modification to alcohol monitoringA Hettinger County man will work with the county state’s attorney to find a way to modify the alcohol monitoring system he is required to use as terms of the plea agreement in a felony endangering by fire case he pleaded guilty to last year.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
A Hettinger County man will work with the county state’s attorney to find a way to modify the alcohol monitoring system he is required to use as terms of the plea agreement in a felony endangering by fire case he pleaded guilty to last year.
Bradley Fullerton Jr. was accused of starting a fire June 2, 2011, against a building owned by Fitterer Oil in New England, according to the criminal complaint.
Fullerton, of New England, sent a letter to the court a few weeks ago requesting a review of his case and the terms and conditions of his sentence, particularly the alcohol monitoring that he is required to do twice a day.
“I’m having trouble with the machine and it costs me $21 per day and I’m asking the court to discontinue requiring that,” Fullerton said during his case review hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Wednesday, adding that the daily testing does not work well with his job in the trucking industry. “I have tried to reset the machine. It runs on cellphone service, but I can’t get (the test information) to the company. Every time I call the machine company to tell them it doesn’t work, they tell me I’m using it wrong.”
Fullerton pleaded guilty in March to Class C felony endangering by fire or explosion. The Class B felony charges of criminal conspiracy and arson were dismissed.
Along with alcohol monitoring, Fullerton, born in 1980, was placed on five years of supervised probation. He was also required not to consume, possess or purchase alcohol or possess or own a firearm.
Hettinger County State’s Attorney James Gion noted that the monitoring was agreed to by Fullerton as part of a plea agreement that kept his case from having to go to trial.
“It appears the incident involved in this case happened while Mr. Fullerton was intoxicated, and his attorney and I determined that the alcohol monitoring would be flexible with his job,” Gion said. “Part of our understanding in making this agreement was that Mr. Fullerton would not drink while he was on probation. This was a deal he made.”
Judge Dann Greenwood agreed that he would need evidence that the machine was not working before modifying the terms of the plea agreement.
Gion said the state would be willing to consider other methods of alcohol testing, but he would not discontinue the requirement that Fullerton undergo alcohol monitoring.
Gion and Fullerton agreed to try and work out an agreement and continue the hearing until April.
“That gives us over two months,” Gion said. “If we cannot resolve it by then, that will give Mr. Fullerton time to hire an attorney.”