Hitchhiker Faces Sentencing After Pleading Guilty
BY SAMAR FAY COURIER EDITOR
Published: Thursday, November 1st, 2012
In District Court on Monday, the hitchhiker who shot himself in the arm changed his plea to guilty on all three counts. Ray N. Dolin, 39, answered firmly when Judge John C. McKeon asked if he understood that he was giving up his right to trial and the right to remain silent.
Dolin falsely claimed he was shot by a man at a historical marker 3 miles west of Glasgow on June 9. It seemed ironic, because Dolin, a freelance photographer, said he was hitchhiking across the country to write a book on the kindness of America. Law enforcement did find and arrest a man fitting the description, but he had not shot anyone and was only guilty of drunk driving.
Dolin’s story unraveled and his hoax to gain publicity for his book was revealed. He was charged with tampering with evidence, a felony, because he threw the .22 magnum revolver into a field. The misdemeanor charges of making a false report and obstructing a peace officer were for telling a deputy that a man in a maroon pickup shot him and drove away and for concealing the revolver.
McKeon asked Dolin why he threw the gun away.
“It was an attempt at suicide,” Dolin said. “I panicked when I failed. It was an attempt to dispose of the weapon. I should have reported it.”
In court, Dolin said he is dyslexic but had help understanding the plea agreement. He has been taking medication prescribed by the Veterans Administration since a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2002.
According to a plea agreement filed Sept. 17, which was summarized by Judge McKeon in court, Dolin asks for a deferred imposition of sentence on the felony charge and suspended sentences for the two misdemeanor charges. Restitution and court surcharges total nearly $8,000.
The sentencing recommendation in this plea agreement is not binding on the court. McKeon said he would not decide on the recommendation until after the pre-sentencing investigation, including the results of a psychological assessment.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 22. Dolin remains free on $10,000 bond.
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