Drunken driver to get prison time for manslaughter

Robin L. Fowler

CANTON — Walking into St. Lawrence County Court using a cane, Robin L. Fowler left realizing he will serve state prison time for killing a Gouverneur motorist while driving drunk.

Mr. Fowler, 26, of 341 Orebed Road, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Jerome J. Richards to second-degree vehicular manslaughter, a felony, and misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

Assistant District Attorney Rosemary R. Phillips said the plea agreement calls for him to serve a state prison sentence, but he won’t serve the maximum seven years. Judge Richards will decide his fate when sentenced Jan. 19.

The Harrisville resident confessed in court to driving drunk on Route 58 near Country Club Road at about 11:15 p.m. on March 18 in the town of Fowler when he crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a car driven by Jesse J. McEathron, 18, of 66 Bullard St., Gouverneur.

Mr. McEathron, a 2008 Gouverneur High School graduate and a member of the Wildcats wrestling and football teams, was pronounced dead at E.J. Noble Hospital.

Mr. Fowler had been drinking earlier that night at a Gouverneur bar, a state police investigator said. The results of a blood test taken from Mr. Fowler after the accident showed he registered a 0.24 percent blood alcohol content.

Mr. Fowler told Judge Richards he didn’t remember having blood drawn because he was unconscious for two days after the accident. He suffered a broken leg and internal injuries.

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