Preacher Accepts Plea Deal To Take Anger Management Classes

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A Payson preacher facing four counts of assault and disorderly conduct charges took a plea deal last month, agreeing to six months of anger management classes.

In early March, attorney Co Horgan charged Harold M. Fleeger, 53, director of U-Turn for Christ, for allegedly yelling and poking a member of the program in January 2010.

At the time of the alleged assault, James M. Morrissey was staying in a U-Turn for Christ apartment after graduating through several steps of the rehabilitation program for men battling alcohol and drug addictions. Fleeger initially pleaded not guilty to the charges on March 29.

However, at an April 27 pre-trial conference, Fleeger pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct-language/gesture charge with sentencing deferred a year to give Fleeger time to complete anger management courses.

Morrissey said he is satisfied with the outcome.

On Jan. 7, 2010, Morrissey says Fleeger barged into an apartment he shared with two other men in the program and started yelling at him for not looking for a job.

Morrissey said he did not understand why Fleeger was upset because he had arranged to work out of the home.

Fleeger allegedly grew more upset and got in Morrissey’s face, poking him in the chest, causing Morrissey to trip and fall over a box, according to the police report. Morrissey said he was not injured, but felt threatened.

Fleeger previously said it had never been his intent to cause harm to anyone in or out of the program. Fleeger himself spent two years in the U-Turn program overcoming substance abuse and a gambling addiction.

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