Lawyer Came In on the ‘Midnight Express’

    The arrest on Friday night of a Springs man on a charge of driving while intoxicated led to an appearance in East Hampton Town Justice Court the next morning by a noted international-law attorney, Michael Jefferson Griffith. Mr. Griffith, who has counseled clients imprisoned in over 25 countries in criminal matters, defended the young American held in a Turkish prison in the 1970s in a case that became the basis for the film “Midnight Express.”
    The man arrested on Friday, Marcos L. Cajamarca, 38, was pulled over at the intersection of Queen’s and Stewarts Lanes in East Hampton at about 10 p.m. East Hampton Town police said they saw him driving in the middle of the road and swerving across lane lines before stopping abruptly at the intersection. He allegedly failed field sobriety tests before being charged.
    Back at the station house his blood-alcohol content was recorded at .23 of 1 percent, almost three times the legal limit, which led police to raise the charge to aggravated D.W.I., still a misdemeanor but a more serious one.
    Mr. Griffith, who has a long-time relationship with Mr. Cajamarca’s employer, a Springs landscape company, also represented the man several years ago in a previous D.W.I. arrest here. In that case, Mr. Cajamarca pleased guilty to driving with ability impaired by alcohol, a violation.
    Justice Catherine Cahill set bail at $250, after telling Mr. Cajamarca that because of his previous conviction for an alcohol-related offence, even though it was at the violation level, his car was going to be seized by the county, as required under county law. Mr. Griffith, who has a house in Amagansett, drove Mr. Cajamarca home after he posted bail.
    Another well-known East End attorney appeared in Justice Court on Monday morning to represent a defendant in a different drunken-driving case. Edward Burke Jr., who recently appeared on behalf of Jason Kidd in Southampton Town Court after the basketball star was charged with D.W.I. last July, happened to be in the East Hampton court on another matter when Joel I. Abreu-Rondon, 23, of Montauk was led in, handcuffed.
     Town police said they first saw Mr. Abreu-Rondon behind the wheel of a 2007 Honda at a little before 3 a.m. that day, parked on Main Street at the Plaza in Montauk, and watched as he pulled out and made an illegal U-turn. Heading west, the car reportedly swerved across the center lines before turning into the 7-Eleven lot without signaling.
    Mr. Abreu-Rondon was asked to step out and perform roadside sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. His blood-alcohol content was recorded at .17 — over twice the legal limit and just short of the number that would have triggered the higher charge — according to the report read out in court by Justice Cahill at his arraignment.
    Mr. Burke volunteered at the beginning of the proceedings to represent Mr. Abreu-Rondon. The young man’s father, who was in the courtroom, paid the $500 bail set by the justice, and Mr. Abreu-Rondon was released from custody. The father then retained Mr. Burke to represent his son at his next appearance in court, on April 11.
    A 24-year-old man who Sag Harbor police said ran a stop sign at Main and Bay Streets in that village before turning without signaling and speeding up Division and Hampton Streets, was charged with drunken driving early Sunday morning.
    Aron Holewinski of Northwest Woods, East Hampton, was driving a Dodge Caravan a little before 1 a.m. when he was pulled over. The arresting officer reported that Mr. Holewinski displayed classic signs of intoxication: slurred speech, the smell of alcohol about him, and bloodshot eyes, and that he failed field sobriety tests. He was arraigned in Sag Harbor Village court later that morning and released with a date to return to court.