DWI charge dismissed

JOHNSTOWN – A felony DWI arrest and other charges against a Dolgeville man have been dismissed because his case “slipped through the cracks,” the district attorney said.

According to police and court documents, Clarence Gray III, who was 43 at the time of his arrest, was stopped by state police on Route 29A in Caroga on March 18 and charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Because of a previous DWI conviction, the charges were upgraded to felonies, police said.

Gray was arraigned in Caroga Town Court on April 9, where he asked for the case to proceed to the grand jury, according to court records. Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira said her office wasn’t at the arraignment and wasn’t notified when Gray had asked the case to be moved to county court.

Gray ultimately was indicted on Oct. 19 for driving while intoxicated, operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent and aggravated unlicensed operation. But his attorney, Michael Viscosi, successfully argued before County Court Judge Polly A. Hoye that the county took too long to indict Gray.

An order signed by Hoye on Jan. 8 noted Gray was indicted 193 days after his plea, exceeding the six-month – or 183-day – window allowable under criminal procedure law.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Nellis argued for “exceptional circumstances,” but Hoye was unpersuaded. “Nothing in this case, which the minutes of the grand jury proceeding reveal to be a very ordinary DWI, suggest anything exceptional or extraordinary,” she wrote in her order.