Former deputy accused of threatening witness

Michael Abernathy
Michael Abernathy

A former East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy is accused of threatening a witness who originally filed a complaint in January that led to the former deputy’s arrest on a count of domestic abuse battery.

Michael Wayne Abernathy, 36, 4164 Church St., Zachary, was booked into Parish Prison on counts of improper telephone communications and intimidating a witness, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

On Friday, Abernathy posted a $5,000 bail and was released from Parish Prison, prison records show.

Abernathy, a 13-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, was immediately fired in January after being accused of beating his live-in girlfriend while intoxicated, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

One of the conditions of Abernathy’s bail in January included refraining from contacting the victim or the man who filed the complaint, the affidavit says.

Abernathy is accused of sending three anonymous text messages to the witness on July 4, the third which read, “Just wanted to check on you. I am going to love meeting up with you because it had been a while,” the affidavit says.

The witness then called the number from which he received the messages to find out who had sent them. On the first try, someone picked up the phone and immediately hung up, the affidavit says.

On the second try, a man answered and identified himself as Abernathy. When the witness asked why Abernathy was texting him, Abernathy replied, “Because of what you done to me and I know where you live,” the affidavit says.