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Meeker deputy pleads guilty in stalking case

A Meeker County sheriff's deputy accused of stalking a man has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

Joel Christopher Engler, 43, of Litchfield, entered the plea Tuesday, June 20, in Meeker County District Court in Litchfield. The court dismissed a gross misdemeanor charge of stalking.

The court sentenced Engler to serve 90 days in jail, but stayed 80 days of the sentence for one year. The stay requires that he perform 10 days of community service and pay fines and fees totaling $525. He must also complete a psychological evaluation and complete any treatment as may be recommended.

The complaint charged that Engler had been "obsessed" with a man over the past several years. It alleges he repeatedly drove by the man's home and sent hundreds of unwanted texts, some of which were increasingly threatening in nature.

He allegedly drove his squad car to the man's home Sept. 15 and entered the house uninvited.

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