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February 1, 2008

Douglas sentenced on DWI charges

COOPERSTOWN _ In Otsego County Court on Friday, Judge Brian Burns sentenced Corbin Douglas of Morris to a year in jail for each of two convictions for driving while intoxicated.

The incidents occurred Jan. 28, 2006, in the town of Pittsfield and Dec. 21, 2006, in the town of Morris, according to court records.

"By your actions, you've shown a callous disregard for others in the community. You are a menace to society,'' Burns told Douglas before pronouncing sentence, the maximum penalty for the offenses.

The terms from county court are consecutive to each other, but will run concurrently with the 30-year prison sentence Douglas received Jan. 25 in U.S. District Court in Binghamton. That sentence was for violating nine federal drug laws, including distribution of morphine and hydromorphone resulting in the death of his 14-month-old son, Corbin Douglas Jr.

The toddler died in February 2005.

As Douglas was sentenced Friday, he sat at the same table and with the same lawyer, William Schebaum of Oneonta, who had represented him during his December 2005 trial on murder and manslaughter charges related to his son's death.

Douglas was found innocent of those charges in county court. He walked out of court a free man, but within weeks, he was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Three more DWI cases followed in the next year or so, which may have prompted federal prosecutors to try him in federal court on charges related to his son's death, Schebaum has said.

"I think he might have avoided the federal charges if he'd left the area, gotten a job and kept out of trouble," Schebaum said.

Schebaum said he had offered this advice to his client.

Douglas, 22, will have to serve between 25 and 26 years of his 30-year sentence, officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Friday, as inmates are allowed to accrue a maximum of 54 days of "good time'' per year.

Good time is deducted from sentences.

Douglas, who is likely to appeal his federal convictions, is slated to serve his sentence in a medium-security prison near Allenwood, Pa.

His father, Cecil Douglas, attended the sentencing Friday, as did James Longcor, father of Elicia Longcor, mother of Corbin Douglas Jr.

The two men, who did not address the court, also attended Douglas's sentencing in federal court.

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