Saline County Judge Orders Arrest of Mountain View Man for Communications Threats and Harassment
A 49-year-old Mountain View man facing misdemeanor harassment and felony threat charges in two counties was the subject of a manhunt on Monday after a county circuit judge de Saline reported receiving disturbing emails and voicemails from him.
In Pulaski County, Mitchell Steven Wine is charged with three counts of terrorism threats, including two felony charges, over emails Arkansas State Police say they sent to state officials. State Claims Commission in August 2020, as well as voicemails and text messages received earlier this year from his former attorney, after Wine and the attorney disagreed on legal strategy.
On Monday, Wine was wanted in Saline County on a misdemeanor harassing communications charge, which carries up to one year in prison, based on a complaint from Judge Brent Houston. Houston had presided over a harassing communications case involving an email Wine is accused of sending to attorney Chris Madison, counsel for the State Board of Election Supervisors, in August 2020.
Houston ordered Wine’s arrest on Wednesday after Saline County prosecutors received reports that Wine made comments about a state hospital doctor’s submission to the arrest of a citizen, with a reference to handcuffs, according to court filings. He was ordered by the court to stay away from the doctor, Rachel Fazio, for reasons that were not immediately clear.
Prosecutors also reported that Wine violated restraining orders against contacting other parties by trying to subpoena them and sent prosecutors a threatening email about Madison, according to court filings. Prosecutors asked Houston to order Wine’s arrest the same day, which he did.
“The defendant is a danger to Fazio and Madison,” Saline County Assistant District Attorney Brian Clary said in Wine’s arrest motion.
Houston reported that the night after ordering Wine’s arrest, Wine sent her more than one email after midnight, describing the judge as “a punk” and “a piece of shit,” according to court documents. Wine also reportedly called the judge’s home twice during that time.
“If you want me incarcerated, why don’t you come and get me yourself? one of the emails attributed to Wine states. Another message read: “Open your mouth, fat boy. Open that mouth, see what you get,” court records show.
The judge’s complaint formed the basis of the current harassment warrant. Additionally, the messages came about a week after the judge told Wine, who is acting as his own attorney, to stop contacting him directly about the criminal case, telling Wine in an email. that communications with the court should be limited to planning matters and should be routed through his assistant, according to court records. The judge has since recused himself from the Wine case.
Court records show the Saline County case stems from August 2020 emails received by Madison, the attorney for the election commissioners, which lists his address, refers to a citizen’s arrest and the use of force during an arrest. According to an Arkansas State Police arrest affidavit, Madison was investigating Wine in an undisclosed dispute with the commission.
“To the extent that someone has committed a crime and does not want me to prosecute them at home, you should speak to LE [law enforcement] or the prosecutor,” an email read.
The Pulaski County felony threat charges are based on August 2020 emails received by State Claims Commission Director Katheryn Irby and commission co-chair Henry Kinslow, according to arrest affidavits.
The communication relates to Wine’s separate claims against his former employer, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the Department of Finance and Administration regarding the denial of his application for a medical marijuana dispensary license. Madison, along with the Election Commission, was included in the communication.
“You are no longer getting hold of me through your subordinates/affiliates without significant repercussions,” the email reads. “I will preface any response by stating that I mean nothing illegal. I will only use force to the extent permitted by law and only if you refuse to settle matters amicably.”
The criminal case has been expanded to include a misdemeanor threat charge, involving text messages, emails and voicemails. Wine is accused of sending his own attorney in March after they disagreed over legal strategy, court records show.
“Mr. Wine…informed me of certain topics he wanted me to discuss. Those topics were inappropriate, and I told Mr. Wine that I would never raise those topics in court,” said the lawyer under oath. Matt Campbell, declares. “After informing Mr. Wine that I would not be discussing these matters in court, while remaining on the phone, Mr. Wine said ‘something is going to happen to you and your daughter on Monday’.”
Campbell, who immediately dropped Wine as a client, reported that Wise also texted him threatening to beat him up and “left several voicemails which made me so uncomfortable that I felt that it was necessary to involve the police”.