Former Knox County first lady accepts plea deal in cyber stalking case

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Mayor Tim Burchett's ex-wife has accepted a plea deal in a cyberstalking case related to Bandit Lites CEO Mike Strickland's estranged wife, Nicole Strickland.

As part of the deal, Allison Burchett is pleading guilty to six misdemeanor counts in the case. Four of the counts will run consecutively.

"Overall, we felt like as state, this was an excellent deal for us the state and also an excellent deal for the victim in this case," Charme Allen,  Knox County District Attorney General, said.

The deal sentenced her to four days shy of four years of supervised probation.

"This case comes in the context of a bitterly contested, on-going seven-year divorce proceeding," Robert A. Peal, Burchett's defense attorney, said. "Today you heard my client make a decision that she felt was in the best interest of her family and her."

Knox County District Attorney Charme Allen said if the case had gone to trial, Allison Burchett would have likely received only two years of supervised probation because Allison Burchett didn't have a criminal history.

"We thought, in this particular case, it was very important that Ms. Burchett ended up with convictions that stayed on her record and we believed that it was very important that we got the maximum amount of time, and that's what we achieved with this plea," General Allen said." It's six convictions now for crimes of dishonesty. Those six convictions can be used against her should she testify in any proceeding in the future."

Previous story: Allison Burchett, Knox County Mayor's ex-wife, charged with identity theft

In court Thursday, Senior Judge Don Ash read a victim impact statement from Nicole Strickland before accepting the agreement. Strickland claims Allison Burchett hacked into her private and social media account. Allison Burchett was dating her estranged husband, Mike Strickland at the time.

Under this agreement, the Knox County Probation Department will have access to Burchett's social media accounts for four years and must not contact Nicole Strickland in any way. If she violates the deal, she could face jail time.

"They say a good agreement has everyone a little displeased," Peal said. "I think it was a fair agreement and it was in my client's best interest to make the decision she made."

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