By TONY BRITT
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 6:07 AM EST
Pamela Pafford feared for her life and, according to court documents, attempted to get a restraining order against Michael Philpot eight months before the two were involved in a head-on collision Monday which claimed Pafford’s life.
According to documents on file with the Columbia County Clerk of Courts, Pafford was denied a petition for injunction for protection against domestic violence from Philpot eight months ago. The paperwork was filed at the Clerk of Courts office on June 4, 2007.
Circuit Judge Paul Bryan denied the petition because Pafford failed to allege facts sufficient to support the entry of an injunction for protection against domestic violence because of an incident in 2004, where it was a condition of Philpot’s probation to have no contact with her, the court documents state.
In her attempt to file the restraining order Pafford’s statement in the court document is the following: “He (Philpot) went to prison for false imprisonment against me ... He pulled me in his car at the Dollar Store. I was kicking and screaming and he took off with me in the car. He wrecked (because) I was fighting him and an older couple followed us and called 911. Before this incident he choked me, put me in the trunk of a car and I was and still am very scared of him. He has threatened my family and tried to snatch my little boy from me one time while we were arguing. He just got out of prison and I wasn’t even notified like I was told I would be. He is very sneaky and I am in fear for me and my son.”
Florida Highway Patrol public affairs officer for Troop B Lt. Mike Burroughs said Philpot served time in prison in 2005 for the false imprisonment charge.
“We have received information from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department that Michael Philpot was charged, in the past, with false imprisonment to a female,” Burroughs said. “He was imprisoned, served time and has been released. We have personally verified that Pamela Pafford was the victim of the past false imprisonment. Those matters are being taken into consideration under the umbrella of this criminal investigation.”
Philpot served two years and six months in the Bay Correctional Facility, a Panama City medium security prison, for the crime against Pafford, according to reports. He was released May 31, 2007.
According to police reports from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake City Police Department, Philpot has a history of violent crimes, as well as a history of domestic abuse against Pafford.
On Tuesday afternoon, Columbia County Sheriff Bill Gootee verified that on Nov. 30, 2001, Philpot was arrested and charged with kidnapping, attempted felony murder and carrying a concealed weapon when he and his brother, George Jerome Philpot, were arrested by the Lake City Police Department in what Columbia County Sheriff’s Office detectives described as a botched robbery attempt. Michael Philpot received probation in the case, while Jerome Philpot was sentenced to prison.
On Dec. 12, 2004, Michael Philpot was charged with battery (domestic violence) after he was observed at the Dollar General parking lot screaming at Pafford. A witness said in the report that Pafford was trying to get out of the car and Philpot drove out of the parking lot and was later seen choking Pafford. Reports state a witness saw him grabbing Pafford by the throat while inside his vehicle. Later, another witness reported Philpot dragging Pafford into the vehicle while she was screaming and that he was also beating and dragging her.
Reports state the witnesses called 911 and followed the arguing couple and watched as the car crashed into some trees. One of the witnesses reported that when he pulled up to the crash, Philpot was beating and dragging Pafford. The witness said he thought that Pafford was abducted by Philpot and when he saw Philpot was going to get away, he pulled out his gun and held it at Philpot until Lake City Police officers arrived at the scene.
Two days later, reports state that while in custody at the Columbia County Jail, Philpot was charged with a violation of probation on original charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon that was not a firearm. He was charged by a probation/parole officer from the Florida Department of Corrections.
Philpot was arrested again by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in January 2005 on a warrant issued by the Lake City Police Department stemming from the 2004 false imprisonment charges regarding Pafford.