An Oakdale man pleaded guilty to driving his van over a tent with five boys inside following an argument with his wife, although he did not realize his actions at the time.
Stephen Barrington, 43, appeared for pretrial conference in Antelope County Court today with his court-appointed attorney, Martin Klein, public defender in front of Judge Donna Farrell Taylor.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, Barrington, who had a .117 blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to five counts. Two charges were dismissed.
He pleaded guilty to DUI-first offense (Class W misdemeanor) and four counts of third degree assault (all Class I misdemeanors).
Antelope County Attorney Joe Abler agreed to recommend 60 days in jail for the DUI charge and one year in jail on each assault count, to be served concurrently.
Charges dropped were reckless driving and no proof of financial responsibility (Class II misdemeanor).
Taylor asked Abler if he was requesting Department of Corrections for the incarceration, and Abler said he would leave that up to the judge's discretion.
The judge asked Barrington, "Do the charges stem from driving your motor vehicle and hitting a tent with four kids inside?"
Barrington replied, "I didn't actually know I did it until I got out of the van, and my friends told me."
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and restitution will be figured for any victim requesting such. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 3, at 11 a.m. Barrington is out on 10 percent of his $20,000 bond, which was posted May 28.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore said the charges stemmed from an incident which occurred about 10:45 p.m. May 25 when Barrington was erratically driving a 1998 Plymouth Voyager Sport Van through his backyard after arguing with his wife.
The sheriff said Barrington accelerated his vehicle and struck the tent, fire pit and other items in the yard, located at 708 5th St. in Oakdale.
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