AMESBURY — A local man behind bars since April after his arrest on a fourth drunken-driving offense was given the chance to post bail Monday after his attorney told a judge that his client’s mother had just died.
Jesse Joyce, 47, of Kimball Road was allegedly drunk and texting April 26 when he slammed his truck into a utility pole on Newton Road and then fled. He was soon caught by police and arrested.
In addition to a fourth drunken-driving offense, Joyce was charged with leaving the scene after property damage, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, wanton destruction of property more than $1,200, improper use of a mobile phone and a marked lanes violation. Joyce was later found too dangerous to be released on bail and ordered held in jail pending trial.
In Newburyport District Court on Monday, Joyce’s attorney told Judge Peter Doyle that his client’s mother recently died. The attorney asked the judge to allow Joyce to be released from custody so he could attend to her affairs.
Doyle agreed but with several conditions, including posting $5,000 cash bail and wearing a GPS tracking unit. Joyce must also stay at home from 6 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. and use a SCRAM alcohol monitoring device.
Doyle also told Joyce that his release could be temporary and he had to return to court July 26 for a status hearing. On that date, Doyle could send Joyce back to jail.
The crash that landed Joyce in jail occurred about 2 a.m. in front of 29 Newton Road. When police responded, they found a white Ford F-150 with a utility pole laying on top of it but the driver had disappeared. Officer Neil Moody checked the license plate and learned the truck was registered to a Kimball Road resident.
When Moody and Officer Travis Tremblay arrived at Joyce’s home, they saw him walking toward the house from the side yard. After checking if Joyce was all right, Moody asked what happened.
“He stated that he was texting and messed up,” Moody wrote in his report.
As the officers were talking to Joyce, they could tell he had been drinking alcohol based on his slurred speech and breath. An ambulance crew was called but Joyce refused treatment.
Moody asked Joyce to take a series of field sobriety tests and he agreed, but Joyce had difficulty performing the tests.
A few moments later, Joyce said he was not going to take any more tests, Moody wrote. Joyce was then placed under arrest and charged, the report said.
Prior to his arrest, Joyce said he “donates a ton of money to the police association every year and we should be giving him a break,” Moody wrote in his report.
Dave Rogers is a staff writer with The Daily News. Email him at: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.