Attorney in stalking case pleads guilty, but victim unhappy with deal
MIDVALE — A Midvale attorney accused of stalking a former employee and firing multiple rounds in her condominium has struck a plea bargain with prosecutors and will be sentenced next week.
But the victim feels Harold W. Stone III is getting too lenient of a deal.
"I did not agree to that plea at all. And frankly it scares me because he is going to be able to get his guns back," Angie Johnston said Tuesday. "I had hoped that he would get more than just a slap on the wrist. I had hoped he would lose his bar license."
Now, Johnston is hoping the judge in the case will not accept the recommendation from attorneys during Stone's sentencing hearing on Monday and issue a harsher penalty.
On June 2, 2010, Stone fired four shots into Johnston's vacant condominium at 7265 S. 1950 East, charging documents state. Two bullets went through her sliding glass kitchen door and two went into her son's bedroom, she said. Stone later admitted to returning to the scene to collect the shell casings, according to prosecutors.
In addition, Johnston said Stone would "get really drunk at night and call me and tell me how much he was in love with me and how much he wanted to be with me," she said.
At one point, Stone suggested to Johnston that they attend "couple's counseling," even though they weren't involved in a relationship, court records state.
When the stalking first started, Johnston was married to Stone's brother. Johnston was also an employee in Stone's law office.
A warrant for Stone's arrest was issued in July of 2010 charging him with stalking, a second-degree felony, four counts of felony discharge of a firearm and obstruction of justice, third-degree felonies, were filed in 3rd District Court. He turned himself in almost two weeks later.
In December of 2012, the charges were amended to stalking with a dangerous weapon, a second-degree felony, felony discharge of a firearm, and obstruction of justice, third-degree felonies. A jury trial was at one point scheduled for March of 2013 but later canceled, according to court records.
In September, Stone pleaded guilty to felony discharge of a firearm charge. In exchange, the other two charges were dismissed.
If the judge accepts the plea bargain, Stone's conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor after he successfully completes probation and all the guns that were seized from his house following his arrest will be returned, according to court records.
Johnston said he didn't expect Stone would serve jail time, but she had hoped he would get more than a "slap on the wrist."
"Not something that he could just walk away and keep practicing as if it had never happened," she said. "Giving his guns back is the worst thing he could have."
Johnston and Stone worked at the law firm Stone & Law. She continued to work there, even though the stalking reportedly had been going on for more than a year, according to court records. Johnston currently is not working and says trust issues prevent her from re-entering the workforce.
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