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Judge’s ex-wife charged with driving drunk

Published: Sat, March 23, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

Staff report


The former wife of a Mahoning County judge faces criminal charges that could land her in jail after police said she was driving drunk and smashed her vehicle into several parked cars.

Monica A. Durkin, 47, of Youngstown, is charged with two counts of reckless operation and driving under the influence after the accident and her arrest Thursday.

Durkin is the former wife of Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. County records show the couple were married in 1988 and divorced in 2011.

Monica Durkin was to be arraigned on the charges Friday in Youngstown Municipal Court, but she instead entered a written plea of not guilty and did not appear. The plea was entered in court through her attorney, J. Gerald Ingram.

Durkin is set to appear for a pretrial hearing May 10 in municipal court before Judge Robert Milich. She is free on a personal recognizance bond.

Police, firefighters and paramedics were called out shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday for a traffic crash with injuries and entrapment near the intersection of Wick Avenue and McGuffey Road.

Emergency crews arrived to find Durkin inside a 2005 Land Rover that had split a telephone pole before striking two cars parked in a used-car lot and landing on its driver’s side door.

Firefighters had to cut open part of the SUV to free her.

Durkin signed a form refusing medical treatment but was detained by police after officers noticed a strong smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle, according to police reports.

Police said Durkin staggered from the ambulance to a waiting police car, grabbing hold of one officer several times for support.

She agreed to provide a written statement of the events leading up to the accident, but when she had finished the statement, officers found it illegible with incomplete sentences.

Durkin reportedly later told officers she had two glasses of wine earlier in the evening and had taken some cold and flu medicine. She was given field-sobriety tests and failed them, police said. A breath test revealed she had an alcohol content of 0.214, which is more than double the legal limit of .08.

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