GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man will spend the next two years under strict supervision by the local probation department after pleading guilty to stalking, records show.
Michael Brinegar, 39, 2336 E. County Road 500N, Greenfield, accepted a plea agreement from prosecutors shortly before he was set to stand trial in Hancock County Superior Court 2, where he admitted to stalking and invasion of privacy.
Charges were filed against Brinegar in December after he was caught driving behind a woman he knew as she drove from Maxwell to Greenfield, calling her cellphone repeatedly, according to court documents. Prior to the incident, he’d been ordered by police not to have contact with the woman, officials said.
Brinegar was arrested in December and charged with one Level 6 felony count of stalking and one Class A misdemeanor of aggressive driving.
This week, he pleaded guilty to the stalking accusations; but the aggressive driving count he’d faced was dropped as part of the agreement and replaced with a Class A misdemeanor of invasion of privacy, which Brinegar admitted to, as well.
A judge ordered Brinegar serve a 2.5-year sentence, with the time split between jail and probation, records show.
But Brinegar already has served the jail time allotted in his sentence, records show: The plea agreement filed recently calls for Brinegar to serve 142 days of jail time, which amounts to 71 actual days in lockdown once the state’s good-time credit rules are applied. He’s successfully completed that portion of his sentence, having been looked in the jail since his arrest, jail records show.
Brinegar has been released from the Hancock County Jail; he’ll immediately begin serving the nearly two years of probation he’d been ordered to complete, according to court documents.
The victim in the case told police she drove to Maxwell one morning in December to drop her children off at school when she spotted Brinegar sitting in his truck near the intersection of County Road 500N and State Road 9, court documents state.
When the woman pulled into the parking lot at Maxwell Intermediate School, Brinegar pulled into the parking lot after her. He then got out of his car and began yelling at the woman, she told police, according to court documents.
Once her children were safely inside the school, the woman got back into her car and started driving toward Greenfield, she told police. Brinegar followed her, court documents state.
The woman called 911 and told dispatchers she would wait in the parking lot of Home Depot in Greenfield for police.
Officers responded to the area and spotted Brinegar’s car as he was heading into the Home Depot parking lot, court documents state. Brinegar was looking repeatedly from left to right, as if he were searching for someone, police said.
The day before the incident, the woman had called police and accused Brinegar of harassing her. Officers told Brinegar not to have contact with the woman in person or via telephone, police said.
At the time of Brinegar’s arrest, officers checked the woman’s phone and discovered Brinegar had been calling repeatedly even after being warned by police, court documents state.
The Level 6 felony count he pleaded guilty to carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 years. The Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year.
During his time on probation, Brinegar must meet with a probation officer regularly. He will not be allowed to consume alcohol or drugs and will undergo regular screens for those substances, court documents state.
He’s been ordered to complete domestic violence counseling classes and cannot have any contact with the victim, according to the plea agreement.