Jury convicts man on DWI charges

NORWICH – After just an hour of deliberations at the Chenango County Courthouse, nine men and three women agreed that a DWI defendant was guilty on all counts Tuesday.

Robert G. Niles of Bainbridge was found guilty of driving while intoxicated (a class D felony) and driving under the influence of alcohol. The jury listened to testimony from three witness over the last two days. Niles had two prior DWI convictions from 1997 and 2002. He will be facing at least two years in state prison, but could be sentenced up to seven.

New York State Trooper Craig T. Starr, a seven-year veteran, testified he came across a pick-up truck in a ditch on Corbin Road in the Town of Afton Oct. 28, 2006. The trooper begin filling out paper work at the scene when the defendant came walking down the road. Niles admitted he was highly intoxicated at the time he met the trooper.

“I’m an alcoholic for one, I get frustrated, I get upset and I sometimes get drunk,” said Niles on the stand. He claimed he walked to his residence, “about a mile down the road” and made several calls looking for someone to help him. After failing to locate anyone, Niles said he became frustrated and drank between “eight and twelve beers.”

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