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Portage man faces possible return to prison after domestic abuse charge

April 14, 2018

A Portage man is back in jail and looking at a possible return to prison following an arrest on Wednesday for domestic abuse.

Michael Chatman, 33, appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon charged with misdemeanor battery and domestic disorderly conduct from an incident on April 6.

The arrest was instigated by a call to the Portage Police Department that day, regarding a suspected domestic disturbance at an East Conant Street residence.

At the home, officers spoke with a woman who was reportedly shaking and crying, with redness on the side of her face. The woman said that her ear had been bleeding, but she had since wiped it away.

At around 1:30 p.m., the woman told officers, her boyfriend, Chatman, had walked into the bedroom to take the PlayStation, knocked over the TV, called her “stupid” followed by two obscenities, in reference to the woman’s ex-husband having been there the day before, and then began hitting her.

“This defendant has a long criminal history and there have been a number of domestic abuse allegations,” Assistant District Attorney Troy Cross said in court on Friday.

Most recently, Chatman was arrested in the summer of 2014 after twice selling heroin to an informant with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, leading to his conviction for manufacture and delivery of heroin and a sentence of two years in prison and two years extended supervision.

In April 2016, Chatman was released from Jackson Correctional Institution to a supervised living facility and released on supervision on December 21, 2016,.

“He has a conviction in 2014 for manufacturing and delivering heroin,” Cross said, beginning a backward recitation of convictions. “2011 convictions for possession of narcotics — two of those bail jumping — as well as a battery conviction from 2011, disorderly conduct from 2008, delivery of cocaine from 2006, battery and disorderly conduct from 2005, domestic disorderly conduct conviction from 2003 and bail jumping from 2001.”

After his arrest, Chatman was placed on a probation hold and Judge Todd Hepler, “based on the hold,” ordered Chatman to be held on a $10,000 signature bond, as opposed to cash bond.

If convicted of misdemeanor battery, Chatman faces a potential sentence of up to nine months in jail, though having been convicted of delivery of heroin, according to Wisconsin statute, faces up to an additional two years tacked onto his sentence.