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Compton pleads guilty to DUI, sentenced

By Kathy Jefcoats

kjefcoats@news-daily.com

JONESBORO — Jonesboro City Councilman Joseph Compton pleaded guilty Friday to a DUI charge and was sentenced to two weekends in jail, probation and community service.

Compton was arrested in October after hitting his neighbor’s mailbox. Jonesboro police said his blood alcohol content was .239 grams, nearly three times the legal limit for impaired driving, .08. He was charged with two counts of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, striking a fixed object, improper lane change and reckless driving.

In State Court Friday, Judge Aaron Mason sentenced Compton to 12 months probation for improper lane change to be served consecutively to 12 months probation on the DUI charges, which merged together. The rest of the charges were dropped.

Compton, 56, must serve two weekends in the county jail, perform 300 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine and $100 restitution for his neighbor’s mailbox. He must also attend AA meetings once a week for a year.

Compton’s attorney, James Studdard, said his client is satisfied with the outcome.

“He’s all right with it, he’s glad it’s over,” said Studdard.

Studdard said the conviction has no bearing on Compton’s service on the Council.

“This doesn’t impact his ability to hold office,” he said.

Studdard acknowledged that Compton had a previous DUI conviction but said he doesn’t think he’s establishing a pattern of drunk driving.

“When you go 30 years without a DUI and fall off the wagon, I don’t think it establishes a pattern of drinking,” he said. “His first DUI was 30 years ago, at age 26.”

Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day attended Compton’s sentencing.

“I was there offering moral support,” she said. “We wish him the best and hope he’s very successful with everything before him.”

Compton was elected to the Council in 2009.