GREENCASTLE -- The state has filed a response to former Putnam County Sheriff Mark Frisbie's challenge to the probable cause that led to his Dec. 4 arrest.
Frisbie was arrested after being stopped by Indiana State Troopers on U.S. 231 in Greencastle. Court records said officers stopped Frisbie because he was driving erratically.
Frisbie was found to have a blood alcohol content of .27, court records said. The legal limit in Indiana is .08.
Because his blood alcohol level was so high, Frisbie was taken to the Putnam County Hospital for evaluation. After being checked by a physician, he was booked into the Putnam County Jail, where he paid a $3,000 surety bond and was released.
Frisbie was charged with Class C misdemeanor operating while intoxicated, Class B misdemeanor public intoxication and Class A misdemeanor operating with at least .15 grams of alcohol in 210 liters. He was also cited for two infractions, open alcohol container and driving left of center.
On Tuesday, Frisbie's attorney filed a verified motion for probable cause challenge, requesting a hearing. The motion says Frisbie's arrest was based on a "questionable stop," and that there was "no evidence of impaired driving by the defendant or any observations of the defendant driving the motor vehicle on the date and place in question."
The motion goes on to say "The defendant alleges that he did not commit any driving violations or violate any traffic laws on the date or time of his arrest" and that the officer who pulled Frisbie over did not have "reasonable grounds to believe a warrant for the arrest of the defendant had been issued in this state or any other jurisdiction," and that because Frisbie's driver's license has been taken away as a result of the incident, it has created a hardship for him "in that he is unable to search for employment."
The state's response to the motion, prepared by Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, said the case was reviewed, and that the investigation, "along with the wording of the current motion before the court, leads the state to believe that this motion is without merit and it should be denied without a hearing."
Additionally, Bookwalter said, the officer who arrested Frisbie observed "multiple traffic violations" before stopping Frisbie.
"During the investigation, the defendant event admitted his guilt, saying 'There's no reason to fight it, .27 is extremely high.'"
Frisbie has retained attorney Darrell Felling of Greencastle to represent him. A trial in the case is set for April 7 in Putnam County Superior Court.
As a term of Frisbie's bond, Judge Denny Bridges has ordered that Frisbie refrain from consuming any alcohol or entering any establishment that serves alcohol.
Frisbie, 39, was already on federal probation when he was arrested in December in connection with a November 2008 conviction for federal program theft. Amid allegations he had embezzled money from the sheriff's department, Frisbie resigned from his post as sheriff in August 2008 and was arrested several days later.
He spent two months in a federal penitentiary in Georgia, and then spent four months on home detention before beginning a two-year term of federal probation.
Frisbie is scheduled to be in the United States District Court in Indianapolis on Jan. 22 for a hearing on the alleged violation of his federal probation caused by the December arrest.