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Amber Portwood formally charged and arrested for 'Teen Mom' assault


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/28/2010 

Amber Portwood has been formally charged and arrested for attacking her two-year-old child's father Gary Shirley on national television.

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Indiana prosecutors charged the Teen Mom star with two felony counts of domestic battery, one felony count of neglect of a dependent and one misdemeanor of domestic violence and battery on Monday, E! News reported.  She faces up to three years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

"Amber is scared," Portwood's brother Shawn Portwood told E! News. "Gary is here with us. He's upset, too."

Portwood, a 20-year-old from Anderson, IN, reportedly surrendered to police and was arrested on Monday afternoon. She should be released on Tuesday after being put on a 24-hour hold in jail even though her $5,000 bail was already posted.

"It is fairly common for someone to be placed on a 24-hour hold when they have these types of charges," a spokesman for the Madison County Sheriff's Department told E! News "It is nothing unusual."

Shawn Portwood said his sister stayed with him on Sunday night, while Leah spent the night at Shirley's house.

"We were supposed to be having Christmas with my mom [today], but plans have changed somewhat," Shawn told E! News before Portwood's arrest. "Gary is supposed to bring Amber to the courthouse today. If need be, he will be the one posting bail as well. Amber is very nervous. She is waiting for her lawyer to call her back. The paparazzi are swarming her house."

Indiana prosecutors formally charged Portwood after the Anderson Police Department conducted a domestic abuse investigation into allegations that Portwood had assaulted her ex-fiance Gary Shirley by punching and kicking him in front of their daughter Leah on an episode of Teen Mom which aired on MTV back in late September. 

Portwood and Shirley reportedly split after the dispute, but it still raised the concerns of Child Protective Services and local police, who obtained MTV's raw, unaired footage of the argument as part of their investigation which concluded with a recommendation that prosecutors file criminal charges against the Teen Mom star.

After completing their investigation, police alleged that Portwood attacked Shirley on three different times over a 12-month period.

According to police documents obtained by Us Weekly, Portwood shoved, slapped and choked Shirley on August 14, 2009; slapped, punched and kicked him again on June 14; and then slapped and punched him once more on July 18. Leah was reportedly watching nearby during all three incidents.

In addition, Portwood revealed she had agreed to give Shirley custody of Leah after she claimed "everything was spinning out of control" early in November.

"Child Protective Services agreed it was safer for her to stay at Gary's because of all the photographers outside my house," Portwood told Us at the time.

The separation gave the Teen Mom star time to resolve her own issues before she could concentrate on being a good parent.

"I'm trying to put the pieces back together," Portwood explained. "I have to get myself better so when I get my baby back, she sees her mom as happy as can be."

(Photo credit MTV)


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