A former Maine man with a history of domestic violence charges is expected to plead guilty and be sentenced on a bigamy charge in New Hampshire on Friday.

Michael Middleton, 43, most recently of Old Orchard Beach, faces 3½ to 7 years in prison on the Class B felony, said David Rotman, assistant Strafford County attorney.

Court documents allege that Middleton was married to at least two other women – Katherine Lashley in Georgia in 2006 and Cassandra Shipley in Alabama in 2011 – when he married Alicia Grant in Dover, New Hampshire, in 2013.

Michael Middleton

Middleton would later marry another woman, Ashley Climer, in Kentucky in 2016, without divorcing his prior wives.

He was indicted by a grand jury in New Hampshire in January on the bigamy charge but failed to appear for his arraignment. He was arrested in Ohio a month later after police received an anonymous tip and extradited him to New Hampshire.

Middleton also faced outstanding charges in Maine, where he lived with Grant for a time. In November 2013, he was charged with domestic violence assault in South Berwick, which led to Grant seeking a protection-from-abuse order. South Berwick police Officer Dennis Gaffney wrote in his report that Middleton was “highly intoxicated and not at all cooperative” during the arrest.


Middleton later violated the protection-from-abuse order by contacting Grant. At the time of his arrest in 2013, he had outstanding warrants from Presque Isle and Bangor for unpaid fines totaling $1,260. He also was charged with domestic violence in Bangor in 2006, according to a criminal background check through the State Bureau of Identification. His address at that time was Hope House, a homeless shelter.

Additionally, Middleton had out-of-state warrants in 2013 for operating under the influence in Indiana and larceny in Florida, according to court documents – although the court record doesn’t specify when those occurred.

Middleton never settled the 2013 charges and apparently fled Maine.

After making his initial court appearance in New Hampshire in February, he was returned to Maine to settle the old charges. He spent three weeks at the York County Jail in Alfred and was released April 8. He has been out on bail in New Hampshire but has been under house arrest and GPS monitoring.

New Hampshire prosecutors have alleged that Middleton not only married multiple women, but he also used those marriages to gain access to the women’s assets. Grant told prosecutors that he took $20,000 in assets from her.

She also was the one who discovered that Middleton had other wives, according to prosecutors. Before Middleton disappeared, Grant noticed a frequently dialed number on his phone. When she dialed it, a woman answered and identified herself as Middleton’s wife. That woman, who was not identified in documents, also had become suspicious and had hired a private investigator to learn more about Middleton.

New Hampshire prosecutor Rotman said Middleton could face bigamy charges in other states but he didn’t know whether any additional charges were pending.

Attempts to reach Middleton’s New Hampshire wife, as well as his wives in Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky, have not been successful.

Middleton’s attorney in New Hampshire, public defender Carl Swenson, did not return a call for comment.

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