Crime & Courts

Judge: DUI offender to serve full jail sentence

Johnny Dore listens during his penalty trial. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Johnny Dore listens during his penalty trial. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail. File photo

A multiple DUI offender mistakenly sent to work release early will serve his full 18-month sentence in jail, a Sedgwick County District Court judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Warren Wilbert said the 109 days Johnny Dore spent on work release due to a clerical error in the sheriff's office should not count toward his jail sentence for a sixth DUI involving an accident in March 2007.

The time Dore spent in work release will instead count toward a six-month sentence in a later case in which Wilbert did authorize work release.

The ruling means Dore will remain in jail until Jan. 26. Otherwise, he would have been out of jail Friday.

Dore objected to the judge's ruling, and Wilbert told him he could appeal the decision later.

When Dore gets out of jail in January, he will start his work release sentence with 109 days credited as time already served, Wilbert said.

The judge's decision caps a mistake made public by a recent story in The Eagle.

Wilbert originally sentenced Dore in April 2008 to 18 months in jail for a March 26, 2007, DUI. Dore's truck crashed into Russ and Myrna Haas' vehicle that rainy night. A police officer said Myrna Haas had failed to yield to Dore but didn't give her a ticket. Dore had been driving without his lights, and his blood alcohol level was 0.223, court records show, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08.

Russ Haas has been in a nursing home and uses a wheelchair since the accident.

Dore pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of battery and a DUI in the case.

Between the accident and the sentencing, Dore was arrested again, on Oct. 28, 2007. He initially faced a seventh DUI case and a charge of driving while his license was suspended. The DUI charge later was dismissed, and Dore received a six-month sentence for the license charge. Wilbert authorized work release in that case.

But Wilbert emphasized Wednesday that his intent was that Dore serve his 18-month sentence in the Haas case in jail before being transferred to work release for the later offense.

Because of the clerical error, Dore was sent to work release earlier. He was mistakenly on work release from July 9, 2008, through Oct. 27, 2008.

During that time, he was able to drive with a restricted driver's license that required a device in his vehicle that measured his blood alcohol level. Myrna Haas said she began hearing from people who said they had seen Dore out at breakfast.

She called the jail, discovered the mistake, and Dore was sent back to jail.

In response to the mistake, the sheriff's office is changing the way it transfers inmates eligible for work release. A complete case review by a booking corporal and booking sergeant now will be required.

Myrna Haas said after the hearing she hoped it would be the last time she would be in court on the case.

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