A Delaware man scheduled to stand trial for harassing a local woman Tuesday has changed his plea to guilty on one charge of violating a protection order.
Gary Allen Payne, 55, of 181 Park Ave., Apt. 1, was indicted on Sept. 11 on several charges — two felony counts of violating a protection order; menacing by stalking, a fourth-degree felony; and intimidation of an attorney, victim or witness in a criminal case, a third-degree felony.
Payne pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment on Sept. 24 and was originally scheduled to stand trial on Nov. 5. However, on Oct. 27, Payne agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors and a change-of-plea hearing was scheduled on Nov. 2 but, before the hearing began, Payne rejected the deal and the trial was scheduled for Nov. 17.
Before the trial began Tuesday, Payne agreed to a deal with prosecutors and entered a plea of guilty to one count of violating a protection order, a fifth-degree felony. The other charges were dropped.
Judge Everett Krueger accepted his guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 28.
Payne was in the Delaware County Jail Tuesday afternoon.
Police allege that on June 1 Payne went to the Wootring Street home of a woman who had acquired a protection order against Payne. Police said this was not the first time he had violated the protection order.
Police were contacted again on June 16 when the woman said Payne had called her numerous times, disguising his number as a private number. When she stopped answering, Payne continued to call and left 17 messages on her answering machine between 3 p.m. June 15 and 6 p.m. June 16.
A warrant was later issued for Payne’s arrest and he was arrested Sept. 1.
Court documents say that, between June 17 and Sept. 1, Payne threatened her if she testified against him.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG