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Montigny acquitted

Not guilty of OUI; leaving scene of property damage charge pending

At left, Attorney Michael V. Caplette defends his client, Charlton Street School Principal Bryant C. Montigny. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
November 19, 2009
DUDLEY — Charlton Street School Principal Bryant C. Montigny was found not guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol today at his bench trial at Dudley District Court.

As of this afternoon, a charge of leaving the scene of property damage was left unresolved. Montigny's attorney, Michael V. Caplette said he would negotiate possibly dropping the charge with the state's prosecutor.

Judge Margaret Guzman found Montigny, 64, of 142 Pinedale St., Southbridge, not guilty after an hour-long bench trial that started a little past 3 p.m. Montigny declined to comment on the disposition after the trial.

Southbridge School Committee Chairman John Jovan, a former Holland police chief, said the legal system did its job.

"I know Mr. Montigny as a man of great character. The fact that he was acquitted, that's why we have a legal system," Jovan said. "In the eyes of the judge, there was not enough to sustain a guilty and he was acquitted."

Montigny was arrested March 19 after a car accident, on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Police alleged he was driving a vehicle drunk and struck another car, causing damage to the rear bumper.

Ultimately, the evidence was not enough to convict Montigny. Police never administered a field sobriety test on him, according to Caplette.

Another circumstance at issue was whether Montigny was driving the vehicle that struck the car former Charlton resident Timothy Plouffe was operating on East Main Street around 7:30 p.m. Plouffe was traveling northbound on East Main Street and was waiting to turn into the parking lot of Thomas Variety when another vehicle suddenly struck him from behind. Plouffe, who now lives in Rhode Island, testified today that he could not positively identify Montigny as the driver, but that he had seen an older man with white hair driving the car. Montigny has white hair.

See Monday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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