AUBURN — A Garrett woman, who is accused of killing her husband, was ordered to be held in jail without bail Wednesday after she was arrested and charged with drunken driving.
Michelle Converset, 49, of the 1100 block of South Franklin Street, is facing charges of murder and aggravated battery in the May 2020 death of her husband, David Allen Converset, 51, of Garrett.
According to documents filed in DeKalb Superior Court I, Converset admitted striking her husband multiple times in the back with various objects and found him dead in his bed the next morning.
After her arrest and initial court hearing, she was released from the DeKalb County Jail on $100,000 bail. As a condition of bail, she was placed on home detention through the DeKalb County Community Corrections program.
DeKalb County Jail records show that Converset was arrested at 8:01 p.m. on Sept. 18 by Garrett Police on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class A and Class C misdemeanor.
The DeKalb County Prosecutor’s office then filed a motion for a revocation of bail, which was granted by Judge Adam Squiller after a hearing in DeKalb Superior Court I Wednesday morning.
Converset, who had been held at the jail since her Sept. 18 arrest, appeared for the hearing with her attorney, Jeffrey Terrill. She was in a wheelchair and, at times, appeared to be shaking. At the outset of the hearing, Terrill noted Converset’s physical condition, saying she “had a bit of a fall this morning” and also was experiencing other issues, including confusion. Terrill said that while Converset might have some difficulty understanding the proceedings, she was capable of proceeding and was “here physically” and would “do her best.”
The court heard from Martin McCoy, who is an Auburn Police officer and also a part-time field officer for the Community Corrections program.
In his capacity as a field officer, McCoy conducted a home detention visit at Converset’s home on Sept. 18. McCoy said Converset was scheduled to be home at 6:30 p.m. but when he got to her house, she was not there. McCoy left and returned a short time later and knocked on Converset’s door, but did not get an answer, he said.
McCoy said he was concerned, so he phoned Converset. She answered and told McCoy she was about five minutes away and that an appointment with her attorney had gone longer than expected, the court heard.
McCoy said Converset pulled into her driveway and pushed herself out of her vehicle. She also threw papers and a bag on the ground, the court heard. Converset lost her balance, her eyes were droopy and there also were irregularities with her speech, the court heard. McCoy said he then administered a portable breath test.
A police affidavit of probable cause said Converset failed an alcohol test after a portable breath test recorded an alcohol level of 0.159 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath. A test at the DeKalb County Jail recorded a result of 0.198 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, the affidavit said.
After recording the failed portable breath test, McCoy contacted DeKalb County Central Communications and asked them to send a Garrett officer to take over, he said.
Garrett Police Officer Nathan Cox testified he investigated Converset on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He said she stumbled and was unsteady and he could smell alcohol on her breath.
After performing a breath test at the jail, Cox said, he released Converset to the jail staff.
Cox told the court he did not observe Converset driving, but learned she was driving from McCoy.
Cox said Converset also pleaded with him and said “something along the lines she would not do it again,” although she did not said what “it” was, Cox added.
Terrill noted that no pretrial release conditions not to drink had been placed on Converset and that consuming alcohol was not a violation of her release.
He argued that the court could impose such a condition regarding alcohol consumption if she was permitted to remain on pretrial release.
DeKalb County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Neal Blythe argued that while Wednesday’s hearing was not an opportunity to prove his case that Converset had committed the offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it was clear from the evidence presented that there is probable cause to believe she committed the offense, and that she violated a condition of her pretrial release.
Squiller agreed, finding that Converset violated the order that she remain on good behavior while on pretrial release and ordered that she be held without bail.
Converset is scheduled to stand trial on the murder and aggravated battery charges March 7-11 of 2022. A final pretrial conference is set for Dec. 9.