Terms differ in tipsy driving One defendant gets 4 years, the other given work-release

2 men, 20 convictions

One case attracted lots of attention, second got little

September 24, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Two men with 20 drunken-driving convictions between them were sentenced in separate Anne Arundel County courtrooms yesterday, with the defendant in a highly publicized case getting a prison term while a lesser-known defendant was given work-release.

John Thomas Trivette, a 37-year-old electrician from Edgewater, was sentenced to four years in prison by Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Trivette was convicted Aug. 12 on two counts of driving under the influence, one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of driving with a revoked license stemming from four arrests in 1995.

The case attracted considerable media attention in Annapolis after Trivette, free on bond while awaiting trial, was again charged with driving while intoxicated July 31 by Annapolis police who said he was weaving across Forest Drive near its intersection with Tyler Avenue.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael Cogan said yesterday that dTC Trivette likely will be tried on that charge later this year.

Cogan said Trivette had 10 other drunken-driving convictions dating to 1981 in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

"I think Judge Thieme performed a valuable service today for the citizens of Anne Arundel County," Cogan said. In the less publicized case, an auto mechanic from Delaware was sentenced to one year in the county jail after he pleaded guilty in Glen Burnie District Court to his seventh drunken-driving conviction.

Joseph Craig Neat Sr., 46, of the first block of Andrea Road admitted to Judge Donald M. Lowman that he was driving without a license when he was stopped along the Baltimore Beltway about 1: 30 a.m. May 16.

Judge Lowman, a retired District judge assigned to the Glen Burnie District Court yesterday, agreed to allow Neat to serve his term on work-release.

The sentence disappointed the prosecutor, who had requested a two-year prison term, and angered Trooper Michael Pisterer, who had arrested Neat.

Pisterer, a seven-year veteran assigned to the Glen Burnie Barracks, called Neat's driving record one of the worst he had ever seen.

MVA records show that Neat has been prohibited from driving in Maryland since he had his license revoked in 1989.

Because of repeated violations since then, he is barred from applying for a driver's license until November 1997, an MVA spokeswoman said.

Pisterer said he stopped Neat about 1: 30 a.m. for weaving in and out while eastbound on the Beltway, near Route 648.

Neat was so intoxicated that when he was stopped he had to lean on the door of his Nissan Pulsar for support, Pisterer said. When Neat was taken to the barracks after his arrest, he needed to have someone dial the telephone for him to contact his family, the trooper said.

Neat admitted to Lowman that he had six previous convictions for either driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. He also admitted that he hasn't been permitted to drive since 1989.

"I know I was wrong. I didn't want to be on the road that night," Neat said.

Neat was unavailable yesterday. But in a letter to The Sun shortly after his arrest, he complained about conditions at the jail, his lack of access to legal help and the fact that his bail initially was set at $100,000.

"I did have a bond review and my bond was lowered to $25,000, but I did not have any legal help at all," Neat wrote in an Aug. 15 letter.

Pub Date: 9/24/96

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