Watson Case Heads To Trial In Conn.

The former state representative for East Greenwich is facing charges of drunk driving and possession of marijuana from an incident in April 2011.

Former state Rep. Bob Watson of East Greenwich will proceed to trial on drunken driving and possession of marijuana charges stemming from an April 2011 stop at a sobriety checkpoint in East Haven, Conn., the Providence Journal reported Wednesday.

Watson failed to reach a plea agreement with prosecutors Tuesday in his final conference before trial. He is expected to go on trial in January in Superior Court in New Haven, according to his lawyer, Jack O’Donnell.

Watson was . According to the police report, Watson had slurred speech and appeared to be intoxicated. He failed a field sobriety test and police found a small bag of marijuana and a pipe in his pocket when they were arresting him. He was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.

Watson's breath test showed his blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit, at 0.05 percent, according to police reports. A subsequent urine sample tested by the state toxicology lab turned up cocaine and THC, a chemical compound in marijuana, the police said.

Watson has acknowledged having the marijuana but said he had not smoked any that night. He said he had it because of the pancreatitis that sent him to the hospital in November. He said that he had had “a few drinks” with a friend earlier and that he was returning to Rhode Island. He has denied using cocaine.

Watson, who held the House Dist. 30 seat for 20 years before deciding not to run for re-election in June, had been House Minority Leader at the time of the Connecticut arrest. He was ousted from that post in May 2011.

He was and shortly after entered a treatment facility in Florida for substance abuse.  

Reached by phone Wednesday, Watson refused comment.


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