CANTON — A Brasher Falls man was placed on interim probation in St. Lawrence County Court on Monday after his guilty plea to felony contempt charges.
Michael McArthur, 56, of 57 Murray Rd., was placed on interim probation for one year after his June 13 guilty plea to two counts of first-degree criminal contempt in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office.
As part of the plea deal, if he abides by the terms of his interim probation, he will earn the opportunity to vacate his felony plea and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and be sentenced to probation.
County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards expressed concern because Mr. McArthur has not completed an offender accountability program due to his history of domestic abuse. Mr. McArthur said he was unable to afford the program, which was more than $1,000.
He said he learned from his mistakes, asking the court to modify his order of protection from a no-contact order to a no-harass so he could have contact with the person protected under the order.
Judge Richards said he was reluctant, adding that Mr. McArthur had a likelihood of recidivism due to hie previous six to eight arrests for violating orders of protection.
“You just don’t get it,” Judge Richards said. “You think the rules don’t apply to you.”
He said domestic violence is a “learned behavior” that Mr. McArthur had to unlearn and asked probation to find a way for Mr. McArthur to get into the offender accountability program.
If Mr. McArthur abides by his interim probation by Nov. 20, Judge Richards said he would entertain the possibility of changing the order of protection to a no-harass order.