A Gardiner woman pleaded guilty to criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon Tuesday for threatening the father of her ex-boyfriend with a knife at his home in May.

However Lindsay Merrill, 37, will be allowed to withdraw her guilty plea to that felony charge in 18 months if she complies with the terms of a deferred disposition agreement, leaving only lesser, misdemeanor charges. If she violates terms of the agreement, which include a requirement she undergo psychological counseling and not have any contact with the victims, Merrill could face up to five years in prison and be left with the felony charge on her record.

Instead, she has a chance to serve only the 27 days in jail she has already served, to which Merrill was sentenced Tuesday, according to her attorney, Matthew Bowe.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Madigan said testimony would have shown — had the case gone to trial — that Merrill had gone to the home of her ex-boyfriend’s parents on May 16, after her relationship with the boyfriend had recently been terminated.

The boyfriend’s father told Merrill she was not welcome to come in. She then asked if the back door was locked and headed for that door, and entered. Once inside the home, the man told her to leave, according to Madigan, and “she pulls out a knife, a larger pocket knife, and says ‘get out of my way.'” She ultimately put the knife away and left. Madigan said Gardiner police later stopped Merrill and found a knife on the passenger’s seat of her car.

Bowe said his client agreed to plead guilty in large part to avoid having a felony conviction on her record, if she complies with the terms of the deferred disposition agreement.

She also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief for destroying a window at another residence on the same day as the other incident.

Merrill was ordered to pay $800 restitution.

Superior Court Justice William Stokes wished Merrill luck and warned that if she does not comply with the agreement, she would be sentenced on the felony criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon charge. He said it would be up to a judge how much time she’d be sentenced to serve, up to a maximum of five years.

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