Tip led to arrest of man accused of bigamy

A phone call from a tipster led to the arrest in Ohio of a Maine man facing a bigamy charge in New Hampshire, authorities said.

Michael Middleton, 43, of Old Orchard Beach was arrested Friday and was being held Monday evening in the Franklin County Corrections Center in Columbus, Ohio, The Associated Press reported. He is awaiting an extradition hearing scheduled for Friday, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Marc Gofstein said. If the Franklin County court grants the extradition request, Middleton will be returned to Maine.

“Our radio dispatch room received a phone call from someone familiar with the situation that (Midddleton) was in our area,” Gofstein said. The caller told the dispatcher a few locations where Middleton could be. A lieutenant and sergeant from the sheriff’s office went to one of the locations “and he was arrested without incident,” Gofstein said.

A warrant for Middleton’s arrest was issued Thursday by a New Hampshire court after he missed an arraignment hearing that day.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is holding Middleton on a warrant issued by Maine, where he was arrested on a domestic violence charge in 2014.

Middleton was indicted by a New Hampshire grand jury last month on a bigamy charge. He is accused of knowingly marrying a woman in New Hampshire while being married to women in Georgia and Alabama.

Middleton was scheduled to appear for an arraignment at Strafford County Superior Court in Dover, New Hampshire, on Thursday. When he didn’t show up, the court issued a warrant for his arrest, according to the county clerk’s office.

According to a police investigation, Middleton was already married to Katherine Lashley of Georgia and Kassandra Shipley of Alabama when he married Alicia Grant of Dover, New Hampshire, in 2013. Investigators believe that there may be more marriages in other locations not yet discovered.

Grant and Middleton moved to South Berwick in 2014 and Middleton was arrested on the domestic violence charge there that same year.

Grant, who now lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, told WMTW-TV that Middleton made her feel like he cared about her. He eventually scammed her out of $20,000, the AP reported.

Grant told the AP that she had no idea Middleton had other wives when she married him.

The three wives eventually found out about one another, and Grant has been trying to track down Middleton for years to have their marriage annulled, according to the AP.

In New Hampshire, bigamy is a Class B felony, with a penalty of 3½ to seven years in prison. A person convicted of a Class B felony could also receive a fine of up to $4,000 and up to five years probation.

Dina Mendros can be contacted at 780-9014 or at:

[email protected]

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