Former Mancos Marshal John Cox was sentenced Tuesday to one year on probation for drunken driving in La Plata County.
Cox was involved in a single-vehicle crash just after 11 p.m. Nov. 10 on U.S. Highway 160 near Cherry Creek subdivision and the La Plata-Montezuma county line, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Cox, 55. who was off-duty, lost control of his 2003 white Ford F-150 pickup and slid into a guardrail. He was taken to the Durango Police Department for a breath test and charged with drunken driving, careless driving and no proof of insurance.
As terms of his probation, Cox must complete 48 hours of public service, attend a victim-impact panel and cannot consume alcohol for 12 months.
According to news reports, Cox was convicted in 2009 of drunken driving in Indianapolis while working as a police chief for a county school system. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.09 percent, according to media outlets.
But according to his sentencing order Tuesday in La Plata County Court, Cox pleaded guilty to his first DUI, which carries a lower sentence than if it were a second offense.
Assistant District Attorney Christian Champagne said prosecutors were unable to prove whether he had a prior DUI.
“John Cox is unfortunately a very common name, and there are multiple John Coxes with that rough date of birth, and our national databases were not able to discern whether it was this John Cox or another John Cox that has a prior DUI,” Champagne said. “So we did not have ample proof that we needed.”
In an unrelated matter, Cox pleaded guilty last month in Montezuma County to official misconduct in connection with falsifying a speeding ticket.
Prosecutors said Cox cited a woman for driving 45 mph in a 25 mph zone. He claimed to have caught her on radar, but he was sitting in a coffee shop when the driver sped by.
For falsifying a speeding ticket, he was sentenced to six months of probation, ordered to write the town of Mancos a letter of apology and pay restitution for the cost of the speeding ticket to the victim.
In accordance with the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a second charge accusing Cox of using law-enforcement equipment to conduct a personal investigation into a romantic rival. More specifically, he was accused of running the licence plate of a woman’s boyfriend.
Cox was hired as a Mancos deputy marshal in August 2012 and promoted in April 2013. He was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 4 and eventually resigned.