FARMINGTON — A local man pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court this week to endangering the welfare of two children and will serve two years of probation.
Michael Mikula, 31, of Farmington was sentenced Monday by Justice Roland Cote to 180 days in jail, all suspended, and one year probation for each charge. The probation will be served consecutively.
Mikula was arrested in August 2017 on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence assault and a charge of endangering the welfare of a child. The assault charge was dismissed and a second charge of endangering a welfare of child was added as part of the plea deal. It allowed the state to get two consecutive years of probation, Deputy District Attorney James Andrews told the court.
According to a letter the biological father of the two children submitted to the court, the children were brought to a relative’s home where the father found them in tears, he wrote.
According to the letter, there appeared to be bruises on the 7-year-old child’s wrists that looked like handcuff marks. The children told their father that the youngest child had been handcuffed. The child also had other bruises and was taken to the emergency room to be checked, according to the letter.
“This whole situation has caused a great deal of emotion, stress and anxiety for the children,” the father wrote, as well as for himself and his wife. The child who had been handcuffed has been having a difficult time and showing signs of aggression and has been unable to sleep through the night, he wrote.
Andrews said he had spoken with the father, who could not take time off from work to come to the court so he submitted a letter.
The father works two jobs to support his family, according to his letter.
Mikula’s attorney, Walter “Woody” Hanstein, said his client has no criminal record and no experience with dealing with children. “He is terribly regretful” of what happened, Hanstein said.
While on probation, Mikula is to have no contact with any child under age 16, except in the presence of a biological parent. He is also required to take a parenting class.
Michael Mikula (Franklin County Detention Center)