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Michigan Police Chief Faces Bigamy Charge In North Carolina

July 26, 1985

PETOSKEY, Mich. (AP) _ Mackinaw City’s police chief, who faces bigamy charges in North Carolina, has been granted an indefinite leave of absence, authorities say.

Investigators say Terry Nelson married Sybil Asilee Noirot in North Carolina in a ceremony performed by her father, before his divorce from a Michigan woman became final.

Nelson was arrested earlier this month by Emmet County Sheriff Richard Zink on a warrant issued by the Onslow County, N.C. district attorney’s office. He was arraigned July 17 and freed on $500 bond pending an extradition hearing Aug. 17, said Deputy Clerk Candace Godley.

District attorney’s investigator Earl Manning said Onslow County authorities determined that Nelson married Sheila Jo Miller on Feb. 16, 1979, in Muskegon, Mich. Nelson later moved to North Carolina and married Ms. Noirot on Aug. 28, 1982, Manning said.

″Her father was a preacher,″ Manning said. ″He performed the ceremony under a North Carolina marriage certificate at his residence.″

But Nelson’s divorce did not become official until Nov. 2, 1982, Manning said.

Manning said the alleged bigamy was brought to North Carolina authorities’ attention by Noirot, who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. Nelson returned to Michigan and became police chief in Mackinaw City in December last year, authorities said.

Conviction on the bigamy charge is a felony punishable under North Carolina law by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, Manning said.

Manning, who has an unlisted telephoe number, was unavailable for comment.

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