By RACHEL C. DOVE
DAY STARR ROAD, U.S. 119 – What began as a traffic stop of one man quickly doubled for Mingo County Sheriff’s Deputy M.J. Miller, as the man’s sibling rode up to the scene on an ATV and soon found himself in the backseat of a police cruiser, along with his brother.
According to the criminal complaints filed by the deputy, he was on road patrol on Day Starr Road, off of U.S. 119 in the early morning hours on Friday, when he observed a 2001 Chevrolet Camaro sitting in the middle of the roadway, obstructing the traffic flow. After performing a status check on the license plate, Miller was advised by Mingo County 911 that the licensing did not belong on the vehicle, but instead was registered to a 2012 GMC Canyon.
The deputy made contact with the driver, Julian Ooten, 26, of Delbarton, and noted that the defendant spoke with a slurred speech and was found to have a white, powdery substance in his nostril. Ooten allegedly told the officer he had taken his prescription medications earlier that night. Miller had him attempt to complete three field sobriety tests, which he was unable to adequately perform.
While administering the sobriety tests to the first man, Miller stated that a Kawasaki ATV pulled up to the scene and began revving the motor. The deputy approached the operator, James Ooten, 28, also of Delbarton, who identified himself as the older brother of Julian.
Miller observed similar characteristics in the second man as the first, stating that James had slurred speech and also had evidence of a white powder inside his nostrils. Upon questioning, James supposedly admitted to the deputy that he had “snorted” crushed prescription pills. He was also unable to complete the field sobriety tests. A status check on his driver’s license revealed it had been suspended.
Miller transported both men to the Williamson Memorial Hospital for blood and urine drug testing. The brothers tested positive for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids and opiates. While completing the arrest reports and processing the men to be transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail, both men are said to have threatened the officer with bodily harm.
Julian was charged with DUI, improper registration, no proof of insurance, assault on an officer and impeding traffic. James faces charges of DUI, driving on suspended license, operating an ATV on roadway and assault on a police officer.
Magistrate Pam Newsome conducted the arraignment of both defendant’s, and set Julian’s bail at $2,500 and James’ at $2,400. They were taken to the Southwestern Regional Jail and were released later that day after meeting bond requirements.