The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

December 29, 2010

Alleged victim of ‘Teen Mom’ wants restraining order lifted

Gary Shirley asks court to drop order on Amber Portwood

ANDERSON, Ind. — The alleged victim of “Teen Mom” reality star Amber Portwood’s domestic abuse wants the restraining order lifted that’s barring her from contacting him.

Gary Shirley, 24, called the Madison County Government Center on Wednesday inquiring about dropping the restraining order.

Madison Superior Court 4 court reporter Cindy Parrish said Shirley called at 10 a.m. and asked how to go about dropping the restraining order placed against Portwood one day prior by Magistrate Steven D. Clase.

Portwood, 20, faces two felony and one misdemeanor counts of domestic battery along with felony neglect of a dependant.

She was arrested on those charges Monday and was released Tuesday on $5,000 bond.

Portwood became the subject of a police investigation into her alleged abuse after episodes of an MTV reality series, “Teen Mom,” aired showing Portwood kicking, slapping and punching Shirley in three separate incidents.

During two of the fights, the couple’s 2-year-old daughter was present.

Although he is the alleged victim of Portwood’s abuse, Shirley doesn’t want her barred from contacting him, according to Parrish.

“He almost seemed like, this happened a year and a half ago and we’re trying to get our lives back on track,” Parrish said.

Though he was adamant about getting the restraining order dropped against Portwood, Shirley was unsuccessful, Parrish said.

The case, she said, involves the state of Indiana vs. Portwood, not Shirley vs. Portwood.

Since Shirley isn’t a party in the case, he has no say, she explained.

“You’re the victim,” Parrish told Shirley, “but it’s the state of Indiana bringing charges against her. They’re the parties.”

Parrish said Shirley was upset to learn he was powerless to lift the restraining order, and asked if he should make a request to drop charges anyway, letting the prosecutor know that he doesn’t support the measure.

Parrish said he was welcome to come in and drop off a request, which will be placed in Portwood’s court file.

Parrish said she wasn’t sure if Shirley was actually going to drop off the form, and he hadn’t done so by midday Wednesday. “He just said ‘OK, thank you,’ so I assumed he would. He did ask where we are located.”

The Herald Bulletin obtained a copy of the restraining order that Clase placed against Portwood.

The order forbids Portwood to contact Shirley “in person, by telephone or letter, through an intermediary, or in any other way, directly or indirectly, except through an attorney of record, while released from custody pending trial.”

The order also prohibits Portwood from having firearms, deadly weapons or ammunition in her possession.

She was specifically barred from visiting Shirley’s Anderson home.

If Portwood violates the order, her bond will be revoked, according to court documents.

That could mean Portwood would stay in jail until her trial is over.

During her initial hearing via a live video feed from the Madison County Jail on Tuesday, Portwood was informed of the no-contact order. Shirley attended the hearing and was warned that Portwood would be sent back to jail if she contacted him, even if he encouraged her to do so.

Contact Brandi Watters, 640-4847, brandi.watters@heraldbulletin.com

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