Westerly man to serve one year for armed incident with ex-girlfriend

A 49-year-old Westerly man who was charged with attempted murder after an armed altercation in North Stonington last July with his ex-girlfriend and her male companion has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and been sentenced to a year in prison.

Michael Bailey, who has been in custody at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center since the July 19 incident, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in New London Superior Court to unlawful discharge of a firearm, two counts of second-degree threatening and first-degree reckless endangerment.

Judge Susan B. Handy imposed the sentence that had been negotiated by prosecutor Stephen M. Carney and defense attorney Paul F. Chinigo.

According to the state, Bailey confronted the ex-girlfriend and her companion at a North Stonington residence, fired several rounds from a long gun and shot out the tires of the woman’s car. The victim told state police Bailey had attempted to shoot her companion.

“Guns and a temper and emotions make for a very bad combination,” said the judge. “You could have really hurt somebody, you understand, sir.”

Bailey pleaded guilty under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates he does not agree with the state’s allegations but does not want to risk conviction, and the possibility of a harsher sentence, at trial. With members of his family watching from the courtroom gallery, he said he was sorry for what had occurred. The victim was not in court but was aware of the sentence and had no objections, according to the state.

Bailey’s attorney said the incident was “so out of character” for Bailey, who he said is a hard-working family man.

— Karen Florin

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