By MEGAN ULRICH
Express News Staff
Janelle Nixon, 24, of Middletown, was in Herkimer County Court on Jan. 8, answering charges related to a July boating incident on the Fulton Chain of Lakes in Old Forge. The accident left local residents, Judy and Doc Foley, severely injured and raised many questions locally about boating safety. Nixon pled guilty to boating while intoxicated and third-degree assault.
Nixon will be sentenced by Judge John Crandall on Tuesday, May 6, to three years of probation, 90 days of house arrest, 120 hours of community service and payment of $7,800 in restitution for damages to the Foleys’ boat and other expenses. She also must wear a SCRAM bracelet, which detects alcohol consumption, for three months.
The Foleys were an integral part of deciding the sentence.
“The victims of the boat collision were instrumental in us arriving at a resolution, and they are very compassionate people,” Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter said. “They wanted the case resolved in such a manner that it send a message to the community, as well as to the defendant, but with any eye toward also resolving it fairly.”
Nixon was operating a rented speedboat while legally intoxicated on July 27 when her vessel struck the Foleys’ smaller boat. Both Judy and Doc suffered severe injuries; Judy is still recovering from the spinal injury she sustained in the collision.
“Judy and I spent much time and thought on what is the just thing to do,” says Doc Foley. “Most people who go to jail come out worse than when they enter, therefore we thought some form of punishment, coupled with counseling and monitoring was appropriate. We feel the other people in the boat are equally to blame and no matter what punishment is given it won’t help Judy heal any quicker. We are looking to the future and appreciate all the concern and kindness that has been afforded to us,” says Foley.