ST. ALBANS CITY — A St. Albans man convicted of reckless endangerment and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon added another conviction to his record Thursday: driving under the influence.
It is a charge of which Jason L. Gagne, 39, has been convicted before. He was charged with the aforementioned charges, including DUI, as well as simple assault by menace and negligent operation, during his 2014 trial. But the Vermont Supreme Court overturned the DUI and simple assault charges in August, saying police failed to adequately explain Gagne’s rights by not informing him recording equipment would be turned off during any attorney consultations, and that the conditions of the simple assault by menace charge were identical to those of the aggravated assault charge.
Police arrested Gagne on Dec. 29, 2013, early in the afternoon. Gagne followed a couple driving to see the new Wal-Mart, tailgating them for miles down multiple routes, shouting profanity at them and even pointing a rifle at them.
The Supreme Court ordered the rifle not be mentioned in the new DUI trial, a ruling upheld by Judge Robert A. Mello prior to the new trial’s commencement.
In court Thursday, Gagne was represented by his original defense attorney, Steve Dunham. John Lavoie, who prosecuted Gagne in the 2014 trial, served as prosecutor again.
It was not much of a rematch, despite the state’s formidable challenge of proving beyond a reasonable doubt Gagne was driving under the influence without admissible evidence of Gagne’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Gagne’s BAC was well above the legal limit, but the Vermont Supreme Court declared the BAC inadmissible, since Gagne was unable to freely speak with an attorney prior to being tested.
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