Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Man pleads guilty in shotgun case

Felony assault charge dismissed in plea agreement


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Michael R. Shipp

A Bellevue man accused of a felony for allegedly threatening his ex-wife's boyfriend with a loaded shotgun earlier this year pleaded guilty last week in Blaine County Magistrate Court to a lesser misdemeanor crime.

Michael Robert Shipp, a 43-year-old Bellevue man and former Blaine County Road and Bridge employee, admitted to misdemeanor "exhibition of a deadly weapon" to Judge R. Ted Israel in a court hearing on Wednesday, March 31. In exchange for his guilty plea, the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office agreed to have a felony charge of aggravated assault dismissed.

Shipp also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI for driving intoxicated the night of the confrontation with 51-year-old Bradford Dredge, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game employee. According to a Blaine County Sheriff's Office report, Shipp allegedly threatened Dredge with the gun the evening of Jan. 2 near Dredge's home at the Hayspur Fish Hatchery in southern Blaine County.

Shipp was terminated from Blaine County employment a few days after his arrest.

Either of the misdemeanor charges is punishable in Idaho by up to six months in jail. Sentencing before Israel was scheduled for May 3.

Meanwhile, Shipp, who had been free on $5,000 bond, was released from the Blaine County jail on Sunday after more than two weeks of incarceration for allegedly violating the conditions of his earlier release from jail. A specific provision of Shipp's release was that he not drink alcohol.

According to court records, an arrest warrant was issued for Shipp on March 17 following a complaint filed by Jodie M. Fuller, a Blaine County probation officer. Fuller alleged in an affidavit that Shipp tested positive for alcohol in a urinalysis test conducted on March 9.

Court records state that the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office agreed that Shipp could be released from custody on Sunday but warned the defendant that he must continue submitting to drug and alcohol tests and any further violations would be followed by another arrest warrant.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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