Editor's note: This story originally contained an error which stated that the Teton County Prosecutor's Office sought to dismiss the entire case. Due to incorrect information given to the Teton Valley News, we are issuing a correction. The PA's office sought to dismiss the probation violation against Mr. Burrell. The story is currently running on the front page of the Teton Valley News' June 12 issue. My apologies to our readers and the Teton County Prosecutor's Office -- Jeannette Boner, managing editor
Michael William Burrell was arrested and arraigned in May in Teton County court after he failed to report to jail and was charged for additional felonies in Bannock County. Last week, the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the a probation violation against Burrell.
Burrell was set to serve 27 days on a 33 day sentence in the Madison County Jail on a work release schedule after he pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges that included “disturbing the peace,” and “abuse of a vulnerable adult” in November 2018. Burrell was offered a plea deal in June 2018 that reduced original charges from felony rape after the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office cited issues with evidence after his April 2017 arrest.
According to court records, Burrell is also charged with two felony counts of possession in Bannock County and is awaiting a jury trial in August. Those charges were filed in April 2019.
Burrell’s court appointed defense attorney Sean Moulton told the court last month that Burrell had lost his job, was homeless for a while and was currently living with a friend. Moulton said Burrell suffered from mental health issues and asked the court to order a mental health evaluation. Judge Walker allowed for the mental health evaluation, but said Burrell would be heading back to jail until the next court date and without a bond option.
Burrell was charged with felony rape after being accused of picking up a woman in Rexburg who had made a connection with him through an online dating service in 2017. Burrell, who was employed as a truck driver at the time, was making regional deliveries that included a stop in Driggs. According to the Teton County Sheriff’s Office’s incident report, Burrell stopped his truck along Highway 33 just inside the Teton County border around 1 a.m. where the alleged rape occurred in his truck. Burrell pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted a $100,000 bond. A no-contact order was issued for the victim. In 2018, a grand jury had found probable cause in the Burrell case.
The Teton County Prosecutor’s Office also said at the time that the father of the victim, who has guardianship over the woman because the victim has disabilities, is in agreement with the plea deal.
Burrell has also been found guilty of possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription, possession of a controlled substance, injury to property and buying alcohol for a minor, all in Bannock County. Burrell’s court records also show a variety of charges that have been dismissed by prosecutors in Bannock County including domestic battery committed in front of a minor, failure to have vehicles insured, passing a school bus while the bus was stopped, and a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge.