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The Times
  • Woman to face no jail time in First Lake DWI boating accident

  • Although seriously injured in a boating accident on First Lake last summer, James and Judy Foley did not want to see the Utica College student who crashed into their vessel to be severely punished, attorneys said.
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  • Although seriously injured in a boating accident on First Lake last summer, James and Judy Foley did not want to see the Utica College student who crashed into their vessel to be severely punished, attorneys said.
    So when 24-year-old Janelle Nixon, of Middletown, pleaded guilty last Wednesday in Herkimer County Court to boating while intoxicated and third-degree assault, the Foleys of Old Forge were glad that Nixon would not face any jail-time.
    Instead, Nixon will be sentenced by Judge John Crandall on Tuesday, May 6, to three years of probation, 90 days of house arrest, 120 hours of community service and payment of $7,800 in restitution for damages to the Foleys' boat and other expenses. She also must wear a SCRAM bracelet to detect any alcohol consumption for three months.
    "The victims of the boat collision were instrumental in us arriving at a resolution, and they are very compassionate people," Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said. "They wanted the case resolved in such a manner that it send a message to the community, as well as to the defendant, but with any eye toward also resolving it fairly."
    Nixon had been drinking alcohol with friends on July 27 in the town of Webb when she was encouraged to operate the rented speed boat for a few minutes. Nixon wasn't familiar with the operation of a boat and never saw the Foleys smaller boat before slamming into it, according to Nixon's attorney Christopher Pelli.
    "I think that, very simply, she had never driven a boat before, was unsure where the controls were and what they actually did, and so it's just a very unfortunate accident," Pelli said.
    But once the accident occurred, Nixon and another person jumped into the boat to help the Foleys – a factor taken into consideration when resolving the case, prosecutors said. James Foley had suffered a punctured lung, while his wife suffered leg injuries that require her to still use a walker today.
    Follow @OD_LaDuca on Twitter or call him at 792-5037.

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