FARMINGTON — A Wilton man pleaded guilty Wednesday to driving under the influence of inhalants in September knowing that his license was revoked and having a 14-year-old nephew in the car with him until the teenager jumped out.

Ryan Brann, 36, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to a felony charge of operating after habitual offender revocation with a prior conviction and two misdemeanor counts of operating under the influence and endangering the welfare of a child. The negotiated agreement dismissed two misdemeanor charges of driving to endanger and failing to notify of a motor vehicle accident.

Wilton police were notified June 25 that Brann had taken off in a family member’s Jeep Cherokee without permission and that he was using illegal drugs and unfit to drive, Wilton police Chief Heidi Wilcox previously said.

If the case had gone to trial, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said that Wilcox would have testified that she found Brann trying to drive a vehicle in a horse pasture.

Testimony from a witness would be heard that Brann had temporarily blacked out and drove into a ditch on Orchard Drive and continued into a horse pasture.

Wilcox would testify that she entered the field with her cruiser and blocked the entrance. The vehicle Brann was driving stopped and turned and got stuck in the field a second time.


Wilcox would also testify that Brann was locked inside the vehicle and she saw him ingesting aerosol accelerants, Andrews said.

Brann’s nephew was able to jump from the Jeep the first time it got stuck, Andrews said.

Wilcox said in June that Brann was huffing dusting spray.

Judge Nancy Carlson deferred sentencing on the felony charge for a year. During that time, Brann will have to follow an agreement that outlines what he needs to do. He also may not use alcohol, illegal drugs or aerosol cans. If all goes well, the case will be dismissed, she said. He also must adhere to a pretrial contract.

If it doesn’t go well, the minimum mandatory sentence is six months in jail and the maximum sentence is five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Carlson sentenced Brann to 364 days in jail, all suspended, and one year probation on each of the misdemeanors. The sentences will run consecutively, effectively having Brann serve one year on probation at the same time he is complying with the deferred disposition and then be on probation for a second year after that.

He also has to pay a $500 fine and will lose his license for 150 days.

Brann has been attending “a residential treatment program at Wellspring (in Bangor) where he really has done spectacularly well,” his attorney, Walter “Woody” Hanstein, said after court.

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