Coventry man takes DWI charge to trial; found guilty

NORWICH – A 50-year-old Coventry man was convicted yesterday afternoon of felony driving while intoxicated and first degree aggravated unlicensed operation – both class E felonies – and now could face one year in the Chenango County Correctional Facility or even eight years in state prison.

It was alleged that Scott Chapman, on September 2, 2012, led an employee of the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office on a high speed chase along back roads in the Town of Coventry. According to the sworn testimony of Sgt. Jarrod Hitt – an eight and a half year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office – he had been assigned to the southern zone of the county on the day in question and had responded to a call regarding an erratic driver in the Town of Coventry. Sgt. Hitt, failing to locate the vehicle, turned onto Buckley Hill Road intending to make his way to Afton to continue his patrol. While on Buckley Hill Road, a brown convertible lacking a front license plate, a registration sticker in the window, as well as having a tail light out, passed Sgt. Hitt. As Hitt committed a turn around in a nearby driveway, he heard the engine of the convertible roar as the driver began to accelerate. Flicking his sirens and lights on, Hitt completed his about face and began to pursue the vehicle. The chase lasted for approximately five or six miles, reaching speeds of 70 miles per hour on the narrow dirt roads of Buckley and Sprague Road. Catching up with the convertible approximately one mile into the pursuit, Sgt. Hitt noticed the driver was driving erratically, traversing the road from shoulder to shoulder.

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