TRAVERSE CITY — A prisoner harassed a Grand Traverse County woman with phone calls because he believed a personal protection order violation would be "only a misdemeanor," authorities said.
But Travis Edward Rickerd, 37, an inmate at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, instead faces a felony aggravated stalking charge in 86th District Court. His numerous prior felony convictions mean he's also charged as a habitual offender, an enhancement that could extend his prison term to life.
"He didn't realize if you stalk somebody in violation of a PPO we'll charge you with stalking," said Grand Traverse County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Noelle Moeggenberg.
Eighty-sixth District Court documents detail accusations that Rickerd's numerous phone calls to a woman prompted her to obtain a personal protection order. The woman also filed a no contact form with the Michigan Department of Corrections and changed her telephone number.
"She has also received numerous letters from the defendant threatening her and her family," the documents state.
But Rickerd didn't stop trying to contact the woman, even after an MDOC inspector served him with a personal protection order in February, the documents state. Rickerd told the inspector he would not stop calling the victim "because the PPO violation was only a misdemeanor," according to the documents.
Court and MDOC records detail Rickerd's long list of felony convictions. He's serving time on an attempted larceny in a building conviction from Leelanau County and charges of forgery and using a check without funds or an account in Grand Traverse County.
Moeggenberg said Rickerd's repeated efforts to contact the victim, with whom he had a previous dating relationship, fit the definition of stalking.
"Aggravated is done in this case in violation of a personal protection order," she said.