DOVER, N.H. — A former Maine man accused of having at least four wives pleaded guilty Monday to a felony bigamy charge in New Hampshire.

Michael Middleton, accused of marrying women in multiple states including New Hampshire, pleaded guilty Monday to bigamy in New Hampshire but will avoid jail time if he behaves for the next five years. York County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Michael Middleton, 43, will not immediately serve any time in prison for the crime because his sentence of 12 months was suspended for five years. The judge warned Middleton that he could be incarcerated if he gets in trouble or violates the conditions of the suspension.

The maximum sentence for bigamy is 3½ to 7 years.

Court documents allege that Middleton was married to at least two other women — Katherine Langley in Georgia in 2006 and Cassandra Shipley in Alabama in 2011 — when he married Alicia Grant in Dover, New Hampshire, in 2013.

He would later marry yet another woman, Ashley Climer, in Kentucky in 2016, without divorcing his prior wives. It is unclear if he faces criminal charges in any other states for those marriages.

A grand jury in New Hampshire indicted Middleton in January on the bigamy charge for his marriage to Grant. He failed to appear for his arraignment, but he was arrested a month later in Ohio and extradited to New Hampshire.

Middleton also faced outstanding charges in Maine, where he lived with Grant for a time.

In November 2013, he was charged with domestic violence assault in South Berwick, which led Grant to seek a protection-from-abuse order. He later violated the protection-from-abuse order by contacting Grant.

At the time of his arrest in 2013, he had outstanding warrants from Presque Isle and Bangor for unpaid fines totaling $1,260. He also was charged with domestic violence in Bangor in 2006, according to a criminal background check through the State Bureau of Identification. His address at that time was Hope House, a homeless shelter.

Middleton also had out-of-state warrants in 2013 for operating under the influence in Indiana and larceny in Florida, according to court documents.

Middleton never settled the 2013 charges in Maine and apparently fled the state. After making his initial court appearance in New Hampshire in February, he was returned to Maine to settle the old charges.

He spent three weeks at the York County Jail in Alfred and was released on April 8. He has been out on bail in New Hampshire but has been under house arrest and GPS monitoring.

As part of the conditions for his suspended sentence, Middleton is required to undergo evaluations and possibly counseling related to domestic violence, substance use and mental health.

Grant did not attend the hearing. Assistant Strafford County Attorney David Rotman read a written statement from her in court.

“When we got married six years ago, what I thought I had found in him was a life partner, someone that I could face life’s ups and downs with, someone my children could look up to,” Grant wrote. “Instead I got six years of pain and misery as I tried to free myself from the prison of his lies and manipulations.”

She said she is no longer the compassionate person she used to be.

“I mourn the person I was before I met him every day,” Grant wrote.

Outside the courtroom, Middleton declined to comment in detail to reporters but said he felt the sentence was “a good outcome.”

Asked about any feelings of remorse, Middleton said he heard his former wife’s statement.

“I did hear her email,” Middleton said. “I did feel compassion and understanding. That’s all the comments I have.”

Megan Gray can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:
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Twitter: mainemegan

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