Probation revoked for inmate found drunk on work-release

August 03, 1993|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Staff Writer

The driver of a car involved in a fatal drunken-driving accident had his probation revoked in Baltimore County Circuit Court and was sent to prison yesterday because he had been found drunk while on work-release.

Michael Brian Dobihal, now 20, was convicted in March 1992 of auto manslaughter, drunken driving and reckless driving in the Nov. 13, 1991, accident. Kimberly Jo Spacek, 15, died about an hour after the accident. Dobihal was not hurt.

In June last year, Judge Thomas J. Bollinger sentenced Dobihal to five years in prison with all but 18 months suspended. The rest of the sentence was to be served on probation.

After four months, Dobihal, of the 7000 block of Oliverwood Road in Essex, was allowed to leave the Baltimore County Detention Center on work-release and was given weekend passes.

In April, Dobihal returned from work-release to the center and got into a fight with another inmate. Tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of .20 percent.

The Baltimore County state's attorney's office requested yesterday's hearing to determine if Dobihal was in violation of his probation.

Leonard Shapiro, the defendant's attorney, argued that his client was on work-release and not probation when he was caught drinking and that therefore the incident shouldn't affect his probation.

But Judge Bollinger found that Dobihal's drinking while on work-release was grounds for reinstating his five-year sentence.

"He signed an agreement to follow the work-release rules, which forbid drinking," Judge Bollinger said. "He agreed to refrain from drinking, but he didn't.

"His tears and his saying he was sorry meant nothing. I am reinstating the original sentence," the judge said.

Members of the Spacek family uttered an emotional "Yes!" when the judge announced his decision.

The stocky, blond-haired defendant, in tears, had nothing to say. He will be transferred to a state prison and will not have work release or weekend passes for now.

Margaret Spacek, the victim's mother, said after the hearing: "I'm not happy, but I'm glad justice was served. Nothing can be done for my daughter."

In the accident in front of Chesapeake High School, on Turkey Point Road in Essex, Dobihal's vehicle crossed a double line and struck head-on a pickup truck being driven by Ms. Spacek's boyfriend, Steven M. Brady, who received minor injuries.

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