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Ex-Augusta Area Cop Charged With Stalking Estranged Wife

Former Columbia County sheriff's deputy Gregory Key Kernaghan was arrested and charged with stalking estranged wife Stephanie Kernaghan, from whom he had been separated, according to the local ABC affiliate. The felony aggravated stalking charges carries the possibility of prison time, if he is convicted.

He was arrested after stalking the house jointly owned by Stephanie Kernaghan and himself, a violation of a condition of his bond stemming from a similar, prior stalking arrest.

Sheriff's Captain Steve Morris told reporters that Gregory Kernaghan tried to contact his estranged wife directly and through a third party. A complaint filed by Stephanie Kernaghan, which resulted in the first stalking charge, indicated he had called her as many as 20 times per day.

The couple is in the process of a divorce, but apparently Gregory Kernaghan didn't follow his Atlanta divorce attorney's advice to cease contact with Stephanie Kernaghan. He was fired by the Columbia County sheriff after the first stalking-related arrest.

An Augusta Chronicle article reported that 40-year-old Gregory Kernaghan was charged in May with making "terroristic threats" in addition to charges of stalking and making harassing phone calls. The $5,000 conditional bond from the first arrest required him to have no contact whatsoever with his wife.

He is now being held without bond, according to jail records obtained by the Augusta Chronicle.

According to Georgia law, a person commits the felony offense of aggravated stalking when "in violation of a bond to keep the peace" does the following, according to the Stalking Resource Center:

"...follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person."

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