Grand Jury Indictments

A grand jury indictment is key to the prosecution of a felony charge

   After a busy summer for local police, the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota has obtained indictments from grand juries against a number of people arrested here on felony drunken-driving charges.


    A grand jury indictment is key to the prosecution of a felony charge. Once indicted, the following defendants will be re-arraigned on the new charges in criminal court in Riverside.


    Patrick J. Dowd of Indiantown, Fla., was indicted last Thursday on a Leandra’s Law violation. Because of a prior conviction in Florida, he faces a total of four felony charges. He is scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 19.


    Leandra’s law, even without the prior convictions, makes drunken driving with a child in the car a felony. Mr. Dowd was charged on Aug. 11 following an incident in Montauk. He had a 1-year-old child in the car with him at the time.


    Scott W. Edler of Orangeburg, N.Y., was arrested in Amagansett on July 1. The charge was elevated to the felony level because of two prior convictions. Indicted last Thursday, he is due in criminal court on Sept. 19 for his new arraignment.


    Amber L. Gardner, 31, of Riverhead was indicted on similar charges on July 26, after being arrested in East Hampton Village on July 4. She pleaded not guilty on Aug. 13 and will appear in court on Oct. 10.


     James J. Brennan, 53, of East Hampton was indicted on Aug. 29 on a count of aggravated felony driving while intoxicated, along with several lesser charges, and released without bail. Mr. Brennan, who has two previous felony convictions for drunken driving, is due in criminal court on Oct. 9.


    Ronald A. King of East Hampton pleaded guilty in county court on Aug. 5 to driving with ability impaired by drugs, the second time he has admitted to that charge in less than a year. The previous guilty plea came in February, at which time Mr. King was given a three-year conditional discharge. He is to be sentenced on the new guilty plea, and resentenced on the earlier plea, on Sept. 30.