LOGAN — A 58-year-old Wellsville man has confessed to harassing and stalking his estranged wife. Mark D. Phipps waived his rights to a preliminary hearing and fair trial, accepting a plea deal that could still sentence him to prison.
Phipps participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Tuesday afternoon, appearing by web conference from the Cache County Jail. He pleaded guilty to stalking and two counts of violating a protective order, all third-degree felonies. As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped five remaining charges against him.
According to the original warrant affidavit, the victim reported Phipps would follow her as she would drive to her Ogden workplace. He would also call her and make comments that he was spying on her during her lunch break.
In May, Phipps was released on bail under the condition that he obey a protective order and have no contact with the victim.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Cache County Chief Deputy Attorney Spencer Walsh said after Phipps got out of jail, he went to the Logan Post Office and mailed a package to the woman containing several messages. He also attempted to contact her through a social media site and sent her several photographs.
Phipps told the court he was guilty and ending his relationship with the woman. He asked the court to be released from jail until sentencing.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler said Phipps was not a violent person. He also isn’t a danger to himself or the community.
Walsh objected to Phipps being released. He explained that prior judges have refused to release the defendant and the victim continues to fear for her safety.
Judge Thomas Willmore agreed with Walsh. He ordered Phipps to remain in jail and scheduled sentencing for August 25.
Court records show, Phipps has faced multiple stalking charges previously. He has also had multiple protective orders filed against him.