A New Hampshire man who avoided jail time on bigamy charges could end up behind bars after all after authorities say he lied about his whereabouts and then disappeared.
Michael Middleton, 43, formerly of Old Orchard Beach, pleaded guilty last month and was given a 12-month sentence, which was suspended on the condition of good behavior for five years. A warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday, however, after a probation officer said Middleton was missing.
According to court documents, Middleton told his probation officer May 1 that he was living in a transitional housing unit in Dover, New Hampshire, but was thinking of moving to a Portsmouth homeless shelter. But authorities said he never showed up there, and actually had left the transitional housing facility two days earlier.
A probation officer, Gregory Mourgenos, who tried to contact Middleton on Monday found the phone disconnected.
“His whereabouts are unknown and it is respectfully recommended the court issue a warrant for his arrest,” Mourgenos wrote.
Middleton married a Georgia woman in 2006, an Alabama woman in 2011 and a New Hampshire woman in 2013. That led to the bigamy charge in New Hampshire, but according to court documents, he also married a fourth woman in Kentucky in 2016.
Prosecutors said he used the marriages to gain access to the women’s assets. In court last month, Assistant Strafford County Attorney David Rotman read a statement from Middleton’s New Hampshire wife, Alicia Grant, who blamed Middleton for her transformation from a compassionate person to someone with a “not-my-problem” attitude. She said she was satisfied with the sentence, however, because Middleton would have the threat of jail time hanging over his head.
Middleton’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment Thursday. After his sentencing last month, Middleton told reporters he felt “compassion and understanding” for Grant and that he planned to abide by the court’s conditions.
Middleton was arrested in Ohio in February. He also has faced domestic violence charges in Maine.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.