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Man sought for terrorizing fiancee again

A hunt is on for a man with a history of violence who allegedly caused two tumultuous scenes at his former fiancee's White City home — less than two weeks after he was convicted of beating her.

John Martin Phelan, 64, sentenced earlier this month to probation for a vicious attack that left the victim with lasting dental problems, is now wanted after he allegedly threw rocks through windows at her home at midday Dec. 16 and early morning Dec. 18, according to court records and a release issued by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Phelan is described as 5-feet-11 and 220 pounds, with gray hair and green eyes. Anyone with information about Phelan's whereabouts should contact Jackson County dispatch at 541-776-7206.

Sheriff's deputies last contacted Phelan about 2 a.m. Dec. 18, in White City, when he was found intoxicated with a gash on his forehead and suffering from hypothermia, according to Denney. Phelan was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but was cited and released because the terms of his probation were not yet in the state's Law Enforcement Data System.

"In this case there was an entry for him, but there was no information about the terms," Denney said.

In the Dec. 18 incident, deputies found Phelan passed out in the bushes with a partially empty can of Steel Reserve malt liquor near him, according to a document filed by Deputy District Attorney Lucy Durst.

Sheriff's deputies tried to contact Jackson County Parole and Probation, but were unable to get through to anyone after hours to verify terms of Phelan's probation, which included no contact with the victim, to abstain from alcohol and to obey all laws.

"We didn't have a legal reason to detain him for a probation violation at that time," Denney said. "In the meantime, it's all been updated and fixed."

Phelan was sentenced to jail and five years of probation Dec. 8, after pleading no contest to second-degree assault in Jackson County Circuit Court. Although not an admission of guilt, a no-contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea. Phelan was released from the Jackson County Jail Dec. 11.

Jackson County Circuit Court issued a felony arrest warrant for Phelan Dec. 20.

Phelan faces 40 months in prison if the court finds that he violated his probation. Second-degree assault normally carries a mandatory minimum 70-month prison sentence under Oregon's Measure 11 law, but the earlier case was removed from Measure 11 sentencing standards because no weapon was involved in the August attack.

Phelan was convicted in 2016 of a misdemeanor after he pulled into a White City Dairy Queen parking lot and punched an unsuspecting man who didn't know him, according to court records. Phelan pleaded no contest to second-degree disorderly conduct and driving while suspended.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

John Martin Phelan