OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma County district judge ordered a former state senator to serve 90 days in jail for violating the terms of his probation after just 13 days.
Judge Heather Coyle said she was concerned that Anthony Bryce Marlatt, 42, of Woodward, put not only his life, but also other’s at risk, when he chose to drink and drive less than two weeks after pleading guilty to assaulting an Uber driver.
“That is something that is just not acceptable,” she said before handing down her sentence.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, who requested 90 days in jail, said Marlatt was “alleged to be extremely intoxicated” when he crashed his pickup March 22 while driving in Woodward County.
Prater said just days before that crash, Marlatt had been shown “mercy and grace” when he was allowed to plead guilty March 8 to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge on the Uber driver. He avoided prison, didn’t have to register as a sex offender and was given a 90-day suspended sentence, Prater said.
The Uber driver alleged that Marlatt grabbed her and kissed her as she was driving him around Oklahoma City.
“Then he walks out and 13 days later, does what he did,” Prater said. “A complete affront to the victim.”
"It’s inexplicable to me,” Prater added. “He didn’t take the gift he was given seriously.”
Prater said Marlatt, a married father of four, continues to have his family’s support. His wife sat in the courtroom Tuesday listening to arguments. Her eyes welled when he was sentenced to jail.
Marlatt’s attorney Carl Hughes said there’s an explanation for what his client did.
“What he did was stupid,” Hughes said. “He’s accepted full responsibility for it.”
He said in 25 months, Marlatt drank just once — the day of the accident.
“It seems like 90 days is an awfully long time to be in the Oklahoma County jail,” Hughes said.
He said the accident was a wakeup call for Marlatt. He has since completed an in-patient rehabilitation program, has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly and now volunteers in Woodward.
Coyle said she appreciated his efforts, but “it doesn’t excuse the choice you made to drink and drive.”
Marlatt must report to jail Aug. 12.
His misdemeanor case in Woodward County is still pending.
Stecklein covers the Oklahoma Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.