By Carol Robinson
Former Birmingham meteorologist Mark Prater, arrested last year on a domestic violence/stalking charge, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
Prater left his job as chief meteorologist for CBS 42 in April 2018 and eight months later was arrested on the felony charge. The felony warrant was obtained by Trussville police.
Charging documents stated Prater repeatedly followed or harassed a woman with whom he had a dating relationship, making a credible threat that put her in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm. The woman also filed a protection from abuse request against Prater, which stated Prater called her 17 times and sent her 37 emails in one day.
He was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and later released on $100,000 bond.
Prater pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor crime of non-domestic violence harassing communications, his lawyer, Tommy Spina, said Thursday. He was fined $200 and received a suspended sentence followed by two years of unsupervised probation.
Spina said the disposition is appropriate given the facts of the case. “It appeared to have been overcharged in the beginning, but I can understand the fear that can surround allegations that arise from relationships gone bad,’’ Spina said. “We are grateful to all parties that agreed to the misdemeanor disposition and to the judge for accepting it.”
“Mark is not the person that he was perceived to be as a result of the initial charging. He’s a good guy who made a mistake and has paid dearly for it,’’ Spina said. “He has tremendous remorse for the circumstances he put himself in and would like to publicly apologize to all those affected by his behavior.”