Abbott deal: Pleads guilty
Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:00 AM
A suspended Madison Police Department patrolman has pleaded guilty to three felony charges and one misdemeanor stemming from domestic incidents in December and February.
Josh Abbott, 33, will be sentenced on two counts of intimidation, a Class C felony; one count of criminal confinement; a Class C felony; and domestic battery, a Class A misdemeanor.
Class C felonies can carry a sentence of two to eight years in prison, and the domestic battery count - while a misdemeanor - will prohibit Abbott from owning a firearm.
Abbott has requested a hearing as to whether or not Chief Dan Thurston can bring disciplinary actions as a result of his arrest. Abbott's attorney has not indicated whether or not they will continue to request the hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. at City Hall.
The merit board suspended Abbott without pay earlier this month.
Wednesday's plea agreement came as a surprise during a scheduled bond reduction hearing in Superior Court - with special Judge Roger Duvall from Scott County presiding.
As part of the deal, the prosecutor's office has agreed to drop four additional charges against Abbott, including two Class B felony criminal confinement counts. Abbott was arrested in early February following three incidents of domestic battery against his girlfriend, spanning Dec. 12 and 14 and Feb. 3.
The criminal confinement charge and one of the intimidation counts stem from Feb. 3, while the other intimidation charge and domestic battery charge stem from Dec. 12 and 14 incidents, respectively.
In court, an emotional Abbott admitted to grabbing his girlfriend forcefully, and then pointing a firearm at her on two separate occasions.
Prosecutor Chad Lewis said his office wanted a conviction from each of the three incidents in question.
"That was important for us to get convictions on all three acts," Lewis said.
The deal came two days after the prosecutor's office submitted a petition to revoke Abbott's bond, which had been set at $50,000.
Lewis said jail phone calls showed that Abbott attempted to reach out to the victim through a third party, his mother, Judith Abbott.
The court records said that Abbott's mother contacted his girlfriend through Facebook and text messages.
As a condition of the Abbott's bond, he was prohibited from contacting the victim in person or through in-direct contact using a third party.
By Abbott signing Wednesday's agreement, the prosecutor's office agreed not to seek additional obstruction of justice charges against Abbott or his mother.
Abbott's sentencing hearing is set for 10 a.m. March 14.