Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 7, 2014

Judge quarrels with 'jilted husband'

TRAVERSE CITY — A weekend dispute that involved a Frankfort man who claimed to have found his wife and a local judge in a "precarious position" didn't warrant arrests, Benzie County's sheriff said.

Eighty-fifth District Court Judge John Mead was involved in an incident and argument with the husband, a Saturday evening encounter that also involved alcohol and escalated to the point that Mead called an off-duty sheriff's deputy to the scene, said Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel.

The off-duty deputy and other witnesses defused the scene, Schendel said.

Benzie County voters elected Mead to fill a vacancy in the district court in 2012. He oversees the county's district and probate courts and also handles cases for the 19th Circuit Court's family division. He wouldn't discuss the situation.

"I'm not going to comment on what happened at this point," Mead said.

Schendel said Sgt. Troy Lamerson, Mead's long-time friend, was off-duty when he received a call from Mead that asked Lamerson to come to his Frankfort house on Saturday evening.

Schendel said Lamerson "had no idea what he was coming into" and arrived to find an "altercation" underway between Mead and his neighbor outside, and the neighbor's wife inside the house.

"I would classify it as a jilted husband having an argument," Schendel said.

Lamerson didn't return a reporter's calls for comment. The husband and wife also did not return calls.

Schendel said Lamerson told him about the situation in a phone call about 30 minutes after Mead and his neighbor were separated. Lamerson asked for advice and Schendel said he didn't see a need to file a police report because it appeared no crimes occurred.

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