Tim Abrahamson, a former Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputy, pleaded guilty today to assaulting his wife's lover in North Dakota.
He faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced on June 27th, says Cass County prosecutor Tristan Van de Streek.
Meanwhile, Deputy Steve Carpenter, Abrahamson's apparent accomplice in the vicious attack that left the victim missing part of an ear, may be out of a job, according to Van de Streek. The Maricopa Sheriff's Office has not yet replied to a request we made this afternoon for Carpenter's employment status.
Abrahamson's a Glendale resident who worked for the agency for seven years until his November 30 resignation, which followed his November 7 arrest in Phoenix for the North Dakota crime.
During his time with the MCSO, Abrahamson helped with some of the high-profile, now-discredited anti-corruption cases that led to the disbarment of former County Attorney Andrew Thomas and millions of dollars in payouts to current and former county officials.
Though his personnel file paints the picture of a trustworthy law-enforcement officer, something in the man must have snapped after he found out his wife had renewed a love affair with an old boyfriend during a 2011 trip to North Dakota.
Abrahamson found out about the affair a few weeks after it happened. He lived with the knowledge for more than a year until, on September 16, 2012, he and Carpenter drove a rented car the 1,600-or-so miles to West Fargo.
Jason Swart, the victim, later told authorities that two men pulled up in a sedan as soon as he arrived home from a family get-together. Abrahamson, whom he didn't know by sight, walked up to him in his driveway, pretending to be someone who'd been receiving Swart's mail. Swart doesn't recall the details of the attack, which left him bleeding and unconscious.
Van de Streek says Abrahamson pleaded guilty to the original charge, aggravated assault, and that it was an open plea, meaning he could receive up to five years in prison. (We imagine he'll get less time, being a first-time offender.) The North Dakota Department of Corrections will conduct a pre-sentence investigation between now and June 27, he adds.
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Van de Streek also says in his email today that we "may want to double check Carpenter's employment status" and that he may no longer be with the Sheriff's Office.
Carpenter was given immunity by Van de Streek's office in order to give up the goods on Abrahamson. The Sheriff's Office put Carpenter on paid leave on November 8, the day after Abrahamson was arrested.
Carpenter's voicemail, we found this afternoon, is still active -- we left him a message. Lisa Allen, whom we wrote about in an earlier blog post, hasn't gotten back to us yet on an inquiry into Carpenter's status.
UPDATE: Lisa Allen, MCSO spokeswoman, got back to us on Tuesday to say that Carpenter resigned on April 26.