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Doctor pleads guilty in crash with judge

A Farmington doctor has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in connection with a 2009 accident where police say the doctor crashed into a judge’s vehicle while the doctor was intoxicated.

On June 21, John Alan Hartman, 57, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault-vehicular and a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle without a driver’s license. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 7 before Circuit Court Judge David Hoven in Franklin County on a change of venue from St. Francois County.

His trial had been scheduled this month.

According to the probable cause statement, Farmington Police were called to a motor vehicle accident at Karsch and Washington Street on May 1, 2009, involving Hartman and Circuit Court Judge Sandy Martinez.

According to reports, Hartman crashed into Martinez’s stopped vehicle after failing to slow down and stop for a red stop light.

The police officer asked both drivers to pull into the parking lot of a local business. The officer reported that while the judge said she was OK, he heard her tell someone on the phone that she was having neck and back pain. She later sought medical treatment.

The officer said Hartman got out of his car and began walking around it, “swaying.” When the officer talked to the man, he seemed very “confused” and his answers didn’t make sense. The officer said Hartman’s eyes were also bloodshot and the officer could smell intoxicants on Hartman’s breath.

When asked, Hartman told the officer he had had a few drinks earlier. The man failed field sobriety tests and his blood alcohol content was 0.18, which is above the legal limit of 0.08.

The officer also found that Hartman’s license had been revoked. A records check showed a previous driving while intoxicated conviction in Farmington from 2000.

Hartman practices Internal Medicine and has privileges at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center which is next door to his office. As of Tuesday, Hartman was still listed as active staff in good standing at the hospital.

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