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Watertown man completes Drug Court, avoids prison

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A Watertown man averted a possible 10-year state prison sentence and had 10 felony convictions vacated Thursday in Jefferson County Court after he successfully completed a Drug Court sentence.

Darren M. Harra, 32, address not available, pleaded guilty in June 2010 to six counts of third-degree burglary and four counts of third-degree attempted burglary, all felonies.

He admitted entering the following places and stealing items: Dundee’s Bar, Brownville, Artie’s Tavern, 329 High St., and Welsh’s Pub, Brownville, in December 2009, and BJ’s Bar and Grill, 610 Mill St., the town of Pamelia residence of J.C. McCrory, and Shootie’s Bar, 504 Pearl St., in January 2010.

He also admitted he entered the following businesses with the intent to steal something: Ryan’s Jet Gas, 740 State St., Jean’s Beans, 259 Eastern Blvd., and Cole Muffler, 1662 State St., during January 2010, and the Medical Arts Building, 161 Clinton St., in February 2010.

Upon his pleas, he was referred to Drug Court, a substance abuse rehabilitation program that serves as an alternative to incarceration. Had he not been successful in the program, he faced a prison sentence of five to 10 years.

However, his 10 convictions were vacated and he was allowed to plead guilty Thursday to a single misdemeanor, fourth-degree attempted grand larceny. He subsequently was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $11,980 in restitution.

Mr. Harra spent nine months in the prison system’s shock incarceration program after being convicted in 2008 on four counts of burglary. In that case, he was accused of breaking into Carvel Ice Cream, 1850 State St., Shortsleeve Auto Sales in Glen Park, Gray’s Flower Shop, 1605 State St., and Parkview Cleaners, 631 State St.

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