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Friday, August 15, 2008

[AR] Trooper Garrett admits assaulting toddler, 5 charges dropped when wife wouldn't testify

...A former Arkansas State Police trooper was placed on three years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to misdemeanor and felony charges...

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Aug 15, 2008
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A former Arkansas State Police trooper has pleaded guilty to battery and misusing the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Brian Garrett of Greenbrier was sentenced Thursday to 14 days in jail and three years probation. Prosecutors dropped five additional charges against him because his wife refused to testify against him. According to court documents, Garrett was accused of threatening his wife with his gun and hitting his stepchildren. Garrett was also accused of improperly using the ACIC to conduct background checks, including one on a man his first wife dated after their divorce. Garrett was fired from state police on April 21, and a spokesman says Garrett has an appeal pending before the Arkansas State Police Commission.[LINK]

The Morning News, AR
Richard Dean Prudenti
August 14, 2008
[Excerpts] BENTONVILLE - A former Arkansas State Police trooper pleaded guilty Thursday to battering a 3-year-old boy and misusing the Arkansas Crime Information Center in 2007. Prosecutors dropped five other charges against Brian Garrett, formerly of Bella Vista, after his wife declined to testify in the case against him. Garrett, 38, of 13 Wellswood Drive in Greenbrier pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor second-degree battery involving a 3-year-old boy between May and December 2007 and one count of felony misuse of the Arkansas Crime Information Center in August 2007. Benton County Circuit Judge David Clinger ordered Garrett to serve 14 days in the jail at Miller County, where Garrett lives. He also sentenced him to three years' state-supervised probation. The dropped charges included felony aggravated assault, another count of second-degree battery and three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a minor. Garrett's wife, Mandi, who initially filed a report against him in Bella Vista, wouldn't testify. "It's a sad situation. It's very difficult to prosecute a case when the victim is not helping you" said Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie McLemore after a court hearing Thursday. Bella Vista Police arrested Brian Garrett in January after Mandi Garrett told police he displayed a firearm in a manner creating "a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury" to her in November, according to court documents. McLemore in court said bruises to the boy's buttocks and lower back were discovered at a daycare. Garrett confessed to using the Arkansas Crime Information Center to request a background check on his wife's ex-husband while he was a state trooper in Little Rock. Clinger said Garrett will have to complete parenting classes, a substance abuse evaluation, and a domestic abuse intervention program at Ozark Guidance in Springdale. Defense Attorney Andrew Miller said Garrett has always been a hard worker and that "this was a bad set of circumstances." [Full article here]

By Tracy M. Neal
August 15, 2008
BENTONVILLE - A former Arkansas State Police trooper was placed on three years of probation after pleading guilty Thursday to misdemeanor and felony charges. Brian Garrett, 38, of Greenbrier, was charged with aggravated assault, two counts of battery in the second degree and misuse of the Arkansas Crime Information Center, all class D felonies; and three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty under an agreement attorney Drew Miller reached with Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie McLemore. In exchange for Garrett's guilty plea, McLemore agreed to drop the misdemeanor charges, the aggravated-assault charge and one count of battery. She agreed to reduce the remaining battery offense to a misdemeanor. Garrett pleaded guilty to battery in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor, and to misuse of the ACIC. Garrett, a trooper assigned to the governor's mansion, was placed on administrative leave after his wife filed for an order of protection on Dec. 11, 2007. The order of protection was later dismissed, but Garrett is no longer employed with the State Police. He was terminated from service with the State Police on April 21, 2008, and currently has an appeal pending before the Arkansas State Police Commission, according to Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the State Police. Mandi Garrett of Bella Vista claimed in court documents that her husband had physically abused her. She also levied an allegation that he had been abusive toward her children. Garrett was accused of threatening his wife by placing the muzzle of his duty pistol against her face. According to a probable cause affidavit completed by Mark Kugler, a detective with the Bella Vista Police Department, Mandi Garrett told police that on Nov. 15, 2007, her husband had been drinking beer and taking prescription medication. When he started to leave home, she told him he shouldn't drive and asked why he had his gun and badge, the affidavit states. Mandi Garrett claims her husband placed the muzzle of the gun against the left side of her face and replied," Just in case I need it." McLemore told Circuit Judge David Clinger that Mandi Garrett, a victim in the assault case, was not cooperating with prosecutors, and she had filed an affidavit stating her choice not to proceed with the case. The misdemeanor battery case concerns Garrett's 3-year-old stepson. A daycare provider found bruises on the child's lower back and buttocks and reported the bruises to the Arkansas Department of Human Services. McLemore said Garrett misused the ACIC by plotting the history of his wife's former husband. Circuit Judge David Clinger accepted the plea agreement and Garrett's guilty plea. Garrett was given one year of state-supervised probation for the misdemeanor and three years of state-supervised probation for the felony. The probation comes with Act 346, which means Garrett's record maybe expunged if he successfully completes probation. Garrett must pay $ 1, 420 in court-associated costs. He also must be screened at Ozark Guidance or a similar facility for substance abuse, and he must take a parenting class. He was given the choice of 14 days in jail or 30 days in the county's work program. Garrett chose the 14 days in jail. Miller is checking to see if Garrett can serve the time in the Miller County Jail in southwest Arkansas. [Full article here]

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