Cop car rammer faces time in the slammer |

Cop car rammer faces time in the slammer

by Aurora Sain

With several serious charges and prison time hanging over his head, an admitted drunken driver will have to wait a few more months for sentencing.

Michael Clifford Stewart, 56, was arrested on Aug. 16 after driving drunk with a blood alcohol level of .247, almost three times the legal limit.

When he was arrested, he attempted to drive away from the police officers and ended up ramming into a patrol car.

The court decided to dismiss the charges of battery on a police officer and willful injury to property.

He is being charged with felony DUI and attempting to elude a police officer, both charges carry long prison terms.

The maximum punishment for the first charge is up to 15 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

The second charge is up to six years in prison, and up to a $5,000 fine.

Judge Tod Young said that Stewart would have to serve the two prison sentences consecutively, but came to no conclusion as to the amount of time he will order.

The sentencing date was set for Dec. 15.

■ A car thief was released on her own recognizance after serving almost 90 days in the Douglas County Jail.

Helen Ann Auth, 51, was arrested earlier this year after taking cars on two separate occasions and abandoning them in Placerville.

The first car she stole was from her mother on Feb. 19, and the second was from a man that was letting Auth stay at his house on May 19.

Both parties agreed that Auth should get a suspended sentence, so that she could get a job and pay restitution totaling $1,600 to the victims.

Young agreed to continue the sentencing, but gave Auth conditions of her release including no drugs or alcohol, submitting to drug testing, and subject to search and seizure.

“Thank you very much your honor,” said Auth. “I will certainly abide by all your rules.”

Sentencing will be continued until Jan. 12, 2016.

■ After turning himself into police on Aug. 31, for possession, one construction worker was given a second chance.

Richard Dennis Gomes, 36, was given the opportunity to enter the drug court program, in an effort to cure his addiction problems.

Gomes started using methamphetamine a few years ago, and finally admitted that he had a problem and needed help.

He was unaware that possession carried with it a felony conviction, so he waived down a police officer in an attempt to get some help, Gomes said.

The maximum sentence would have been four years in prison, with a minimum of one year served, in addition to fines up to $5,000.

“You may have picked the hardest way to get help,” said Young.

Gomes will have to report to drug court bi-weekly, as well as see a counselor three times a week.