Back toward the end of May 39-year-old Christopher M. Pocknell was arrested on charges of Domestic Abuse and Bail Jumping. I came across the story then but decided at the time that I would wait until it went to trial before writing about it as the victim was not identified among other reasons.
Basically what happened is that Christopher installed a GPS tracking unit under the bumper of his estranged wife’s car. It had the ability to send text messages of it’s location to a cell phone. The chip was leased to Christopher Pocknell back in October of last year but I don’t know for sure how long he had been tracking his wife’s whereabouts. In addition to the GPS chip Pocknell consistently harassed his wife, following her to Iowa one time.
I’m not real sure why this story intrigued me so much when I ran across it back in May because obviously there was no violent crime committed and nobody was missing or murdered. How would this have turned out had the GPS chip not been found when it was? Christopher is no stranger to domestic abuse. From what I have been able to ascertain, his first ex-wife had a restraining order for domestic abuse against him during or after their divorce. I sent her a couple of emails but she didn’t respond.
The bail jumping charge ended up being dropped and the domestic abuse charge was turned into Felony Stalking. It finally went to trial Tuesday and Pocknell entered an Alford Plea, which means that he admitted no wrongdoing but conceded that a jury would most likely have found him guilty. His attorney, John Brinkman said that he didn’t see any critical evidence but that Pocknell valued his freedom too much and wanted to get it over with since he has been sitting in jail on a $50,000 bond since he was arrested.
Critical evidence. Let’s see here. Pocknell leased the GPS chip and it ended up under his wife’s bumper. If that ain’t evidence I don’t know what the fuck is.
Pocknell told the judge that the whole thing was over a bitter custody battle and that he was “more of a victim of violence by my wife”. The judge responded “The only issue is you. You’re not accepting responsibility”.
One of the things that I found when I was researching this earlier in the year was his online presence. Chris has a MySpace which he hasn’t logged into since the middle of May. There isn’t a whole lot of information there other than the fact that he had himself listed as single, but his screen name, cmnp69 led me to several of his other profiles on dating sites here and here and here. None of them have been logged into since 2007 when he had been married to his wife for seven years. That in itself really isn’t damning until you add it in to the stalking. Hell, I have profiles on probably 150 sites across the Internet so that I can research folks like Christopher. The difference is that my wife is aware of them. While it’s embarrassing (because I am a closet prude I guess) she is aware of them.
Pocknell’s punishment is that he is to have two years of probation as well as six months of local confinement (electronic monitoring) and he also has to complete domestic violence treatment.