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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

[MI] Ex-Officer Robert Vargas found guilty of stalking Officer Joseph Merritt - who had arrested Vargas for domestic violence

...Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer argued the threats "terrified" Merritt, who sent his wife and children from their home after he received the first call... "I think about it when I am out plowing snow, I think about it when I am weeding flower beds. I think about it all the time"...

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[MI] Officer Vargas charged w/stalking Officer Merritt - ...MICHIGAN STATE POLICE LT. JIM SHAW, WHO COMMANDS THE JACKSON POST, WHICH HANDLED THE INVESTIGATION, SAID THE CALLS WERE "THREATENING IN NATURE." AS DEFINED IN THE MICHIGAN STATUTE, AGGRAVATED STALKING INVOLVES THREATS TO KILL ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR INFLICT PHYSICAL INJURY...

JACKSON COUNTY JURY FINDS FORMER LANSING POLICE OFFICER GUILTY OF MISDEMEANOR STALKING
The Jackson Citizen Patriot - MLive.com
by Danielle Quisenberry
Tuesday April 21, 2009, 5:23 PM
A jury found a former Lansing police officer guilty on Tuesday of stalking a Blackman Township public safety officer who arrested him in 2007. After nearly a day of deliberations, jurors acquitted Robert Vargas, 39, of Mason of aggravated stalking, a felony, and convicted him of the lesser charge of misdemeanor stalking. They also found him not guilty of malicious use of a telephone, a misdemeanor. Circuit Judge Thomas Wilson is to sentence Vargas May 28. His crime is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Public Safety Officer Joseph Merritt testified that Vargas twice called him in April 2008 and made threatening statements. The threats occurred after Merritt arrested Vargas in 2007 in Blackman Township on a domestic violence charge. A Jackson County jury found Vargas not guilty of domestic violence, but guilty of harassing his former girlfriend with a telephone. He was sentenced to probation.... Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer argued the threats "terrified" Merritt, who sent his wife and children from their home after he received the first call... "I think about it when I am out plowing snow, I think about it when I am weeding flower beds. I think about it all the time," Merritt testified... [Full article here]

FORMER POLICE OFFICER'S FATE IN HANDS OF JURY

The Jackson Citizen Patriot - MLive.com
By Danielle Quisenberry dquisenberry@citpat.com 768-4929
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
...Merritt arrested Vargas in spring 2007 in Blackman Township, where Vargas' former girlfriend lived. He was arraigned in May 2007 on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and telephone harassment. A jury acquitted Vargas of domestic violence but found him guilty of telephone harassment, and he was sentenced in October 2007 to 15 months probation. Four days after Vargas' probation ended, Merritt received the first call, said Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer, who showed court and telephone records to the jury. Prior to that call, Merritt said Vargas followed him around Meijer in Mason while Merritt, who lives in Mason, shopped there with his family... Merritt said he knew, through his work on the domestic violence case, Vargas had a cabinet full of guns in his home... [Full article here]

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