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Eighth DWI sends Ponsford man to prison

A Ponsford man was sentenced Wednesday in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of first-degree driving while intoxicated-test refusal.

Jeffrey Lee Butcher, 27, of 29050 465th Ave., Ponsford, was sentenced by District Court Judge Peter Irvine to 51 months in prison, with credit for 95 days served since his arrest, and fined $135, to be taken from his prison earnings.

He will be eligible for conditional release after five years. Additional charges of felony first-degree DWI and gross misdemeanor driving after license cancellation were dismissed.

According to court records, about 4 a.m. on March 6 Butcher was in a vehicle that was seen driving erratically by a tribal police officer.

After being pulled over he jumped into the back seat and denied being the driver.

He tested at .17 percent blood alcohol level in a preliminary test, and refused further testing at jail. He has seven prior DWI -related convictions dating back to 1992.