Stalking suspect Crystal Mercado sentenced to 8 years/ Express News Had A Similar Story About Crystal Mercado/ Sentenced to 8 years for stalking

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Normal Stalking suspect Crystal Mercado sentenced to 8 years/ Express News Had A Similar Story About Crystal Mercado/ Sentenced to 8 years for stalking

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:51 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
UPDATED: 10:08 am CST February 12, 2010

SAN ANTONIO -- The harassment began with threatening phone calls to Emily Systma, her family and to Michelle McDonald, an employee at Systma's business, Alamo Transport.

"Life has been a living hell," Systma said. "It has been a circus for me and my children."

Systma said Crystal Mercado, 32, started harassing them when they were hired to pick up Mercado's mobile home after it was repossessed by a mortgage company.

Systma said Mercado would eventually go a step further, and began playing games with their lives.

"I live every day in constant fear that she's either going to come and kill me or my husband or my children," Systma said.

Mercado made false reports to the Texas Family and Protective Services and Child Protective Services, which led to intestigations, McDonald said.

"My children were being questioned at school because she continues to make allegations of abuse (and) neglect," McDonald said.

McDonald and Systma said that the law hasn't been on their side.

"Everybody is very sorry and (say they're) sorry this is happening ... but they say, 'Sorry, ma'am, there is nothing we can do for you,'" Systma said, referring to the years Mercado allegedly spent harassing her family.

Mercado has spent the last year in jail on a charge of stalking, but both Systma and McDonald said she continues to send them explicit letters from her cell. They fear Mercado will be set free when she appears in court for sentencing next week.

"I know if she gets out this will end with either her assaulting me or she will kill me," Systma said.

_________________
along comes a spider to sit down beside ya


Be Humble For You Are Made Of Earth~Be Noble For You Are Made Of Stars
avatar
NiteSpinR
Tech Support Admin
Tech  Support  Admin

Join date : 2009-05-30

Back to top Go down

Normal Express News Had A Similar Story About Crystal Mercado

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:17 pm

Web Posted: 03/20/2009 11:45 CDT
Woman faces charge seldom used: Stalking


The call was alarming: A woman was beating her child with a crowbar. Sheriff’s deputies raced to the home in South Bexar County, where Michelle McDonald was sitting down with her children to eat pizza.

The mother had not hit any of her kids with a crowbar, as she explained to the deputies at the door. But she wasn’t surprised someone had accused her of doing something so terrible.

What shocked and worried the mother that evening last year was that the caller had learned her address.

“That was my main fear,” McDonald said. “When I realized that she knew my home address, that she actually sent officers to my address, I was like, ‘What’s going to happen next?’.”

McDonald, 32, and other employees at Alamo Transport say a woman whose mobile home was repossessed, moved onto the company’s property and then resold has been hounding them for years.

The woman, Crystal Mercado, was indicted last month on two counts of stalking, a prevalent and potentially devastating crime that nonetheless rarely is handled by prosecutors.

A recent Justice Department study found that 3.4 million people were stalked in the United States in the span of a year, yet charges were filed in only 21 percent of the stalkings.

In Bexar County, where about 12,000 felonies are filed each year, less than 30 are stalking cases, Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg said. The reasons, experts say, are myriad. Studies show less than half of victims report stalking to authorities, both in Texas and nationwide. And prosecutors say it’s a difficult crime to prove. Stalking is defined in Texas as behavior that both the offender and victim feel is threatening and that occurs on more than one occasion. “They’re difficult cases to work with,” Herberg said. “You have to show the repeated pattern of conduct.”

For Mercado, repetition is a hallmark.

Over the course of a decade, the 30-year-old has been convicted of harassment at least seven times. And while she wasn’t charged with stalking until this year, her methods have remained consistent, according to court records, police reports and interviews with five of her victims.

She’s left messages laced with profanities and mortal threats, trespassed criminally and called police and Child Protective Services to allege abuse. And her behavior has been relentless, dulled neither by time nor prison stints.

For Emily Sytsma, another employee at Alamo Transport, the experience has been overwhelming.

“The stress of it is, you have somebody calling us and threatening to kill us, repeatedly, and you know it’s getting out of hand, and then you have Child Protective Services coming by on any given day, and they come in, and they think that you have abused your children, and they’re taking pictures of your kids,” Sytsma said.

“My life has been turned upside down,” she said, “because I’ve got people thinking I’ve been abusing my children.”

‘Years of Torture’

No criminal stalking laws existed in the United States until 1990, when California made it a crime. Now all 50 states and the federal government have some form of anti-stalking legislation.

The nature of the offense likely contributed to its low profile, said Michelle Garcia, director of the Stalking Resource Center in Washington. Unlike many crimes, stalking doesn’t require that anyone attack a victim.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s not having a significant and detrimental effect on that victim,” Garcia said. “Stalking can be incredibly disruptive even without a physical assault. And just because it hasn’t escalated to that point doesn’t mean that it won’t.” A fear of what could happen next — cited in nearly half of all stalking cases — prompted Ofelia Bocanegra to upend her life.

Bocanegra’s first encounter with Mercado occurred in 1999 inside the home of her then-boyfriend. A relative of the boyfriend recently had ended a relationship with Mercado, who was upset enough that night to crawl into the family’s house through a window, Bocanegra recalled.

“She followed me home, found out where I lived,” Bocanegra said. What came next, according to Bocanegra, were “years and years of torture.”

The mother of a 2-year-old boy, Bocanegra suddenly found herself the subject of repeated CPS investigations.

“It was humiliating because they pulled out a drawing for my son and asked him if I’d ever touched him, if I ever molested him,” she said. Responding to anonymous 911 calls, authorities would show up at Bocanegra’s home on a regular basis. And Mercado — who also has been charged twice with prostitution — was incessantly calling, she said.

“She would tell me that she would make my life a living hell. She would say obscene things about my son,” Bocanegra said. “I couldn’t even walk outside of my home. I had to look around. I didn’t know if she would be at the bottom of the stairway.” The situation was so bad that Bocanegra eventually gave up custody of her son to her mom and dad and moved away.

“I knew she would eventually find me, so I moved to the (Rio Grande) Valley,” she said.

Mercado also targeted the ex-boyfriend’s family, calling CPS, slashing tires and lurking around the home, according to Daniel Escamilla, the father.

When Mercado was arrested that summer on a misdemeanor charge of phone harassment, an information report accused her of threatening to burn down the family’s house. Yet legal scrutiny did little to stop the behavior.

Courts subjected Mercado to probation, revocations of probation, psychiatric exams, spells in the San Antonio State Hospital and no-contact orders. Yet Mercado didn’t stop, according to court records.

One night at her mother’s house, willing to try anything to end the nightmare, Bocanegra returned one of Mercado’s calls and leveled with her. “I let her vent and vent and vent,” she said. “I told her, whatever I did, I’m so sorry. And I never heard from her after that.”

Garcia of the Stalking Resource Center said such an outcome is unusual; any contact with a stalker typically reinforces his behavior. Bocanegra since has returned to San Antonio. But her son still lives with her parents.

“It was the worst couple of years of my life,” she said.

‘Relentless’ When the first of many angry, disjointed messages appeared in April 2006, scrawled on an envelope and left at Alamo Transport the day the company seized Mercado’s mobile home on a writ of possession, McDonald and Sytsma didn’t wait to begin compiling a record. “We were going to keep what we needed to keep,” McDonald said, “because we didn’t know what she would do.”

A homeless Mercado already had started calling her former landlord, Jim Stanley, who has filed charges of phone harassment against her at least three times. “She’s relentless,” Stanley said. “She said she’s going to cut my wife’s throat. She called CPS on us, and I don’t even have a kid. She said our kids were starving. And then she called Adult Protective Services and said I was beating my wife. Both (agencies) came out here.”

Stanley added, “It’s wasting taxpayers’ money.”

Mary Walker, a spokeswoman for APS and CPS, said caseworkers are required to investigate all claims of abuse, and callers are not required to give their names. In calling authorities, Mercado often has remained anonymous or used false names such as “Tricia Perfect,” according to police reports.

McDonald and Sytsma have pleaded with police and caseworkers, yet authorities continued to investigate calls that Sytsma was stabbing her children to death or using heroin while suffering from AIDS, among other allegations.

“I’m being investigated (by CPS) right now, because they don’t have a process set up for this,” Sytsma said. “They say that they get plenty of false reports, and I understand that they have a duty to come out and investigate. However, if you’ve got somebody that’s calling every single day. .....

Sytsma and McDonald also saved phone messages, which they said have been increasing this year in intensity and frequency. The pair recently played the messages for a reporter.

“I’ll probably run (Sytsma) over,” one message said. “I’ll probably choke that bitch. And I don’t like Michelle, and if I ever see her, I hope I don’t kill her and run over her, or I’ll sock her in the (expletive) face or (expletive) rip her (expletive) head off.”

Mercado never has been charged with a violent crime. Stanley, McDonald and Sytsma say they fear for their lives anyway.

“I think that someday she is going to do something,” Stanley said. “One day, it is going to be tragic. I think she belongs someplace where they can lock her up and get her some help.”

Mercado was arrested March 11 at her mother’s South Side home. She remains in Bexar County Jail in lieu of posting $75,000 bail. Herberg said prosecutors feel they have enough evidence this time to warrant a charge of stalking. Sytsma’s and McDonald’s efforts to document the situation helped. And if someone bails Mercado out of jail, it won’t be her mother.

“I wouldn’t mind Crystal being with me, if she’d just be normal,” said her mother, who refused to give her name. “She thinks that somebody is out to get her. It’s like living with somebody who’s mental.”

In financial straits like her daughter, she said she hopes Mercado finds someone to help her. But she expressed little hope that the harmful cycle will end.

“She’ll find somebody else if she gets over this one,” she said.

_________________
along comes a spider to sit down beside ya


Be Humble For You Are Made Of Earth~Be Noble For You Are Made Of Stars
avatar
NiteSpinR
Tech Support Admin
Tech  Support  Admin

Join date : 2009-05-30

Back to top Go down

Normal San Antonio woman gets 8 years for stalking

Post by Nama on Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:48 am

San Antonio woman gets 8 years for stalking

A judge handed down an eight-year prison sentence to a self-described “annoying” woman with a history of harassment who pleaded guilty to stalking.
Crystal Mercado, 31, gave rambling answers about several of her victims when she took the stand Tuesday before being sentenced by State District Judge Lori Valenzuela.
“Yes, I know I can be a little annoying at times,” Mercado said, “but they can be annoying as well. They did nasty things to me and my cars.”
Valenzuela told Mercado that she did not believe her behavior would cease if the judge placed her on probation or sent her to a state hospital.
Mercado's arrest in March on two felony counts of stalking did not stop her from sending more than 40 letters from jail to some of her victims, said Michelle McDonald, one of at least five people who accused Mercado of tormenting them.
Mercado, who pleaded guilty last month to stalking, could have received up to 10 years in prison.
Before her arrest, Mercado was convicted of harassment at least seven times and usually received probation, the San Antonio Express-News reported today.
Her victims have accused her of leaving messages laced with profanities and mortal threats, trespassing and repeatedly calling police and Child Protective Services to allege nonexistent abuse.
Mercado's mobile home was repossessed in April 2006 and taken to Alamo Transport, which later sold it. Two Alamo Transport employees said they suffered through years of belligerent phone calls, CPS investigations and death threats, which they blamed on Mercado.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
I've never been willing to sacrifice functionality for beauty ~ My Father
avatar
Nama
Administration
Administration

Join date : 2009-05-28

Back to top Go down

Normal i know crystal!

Post by Guest on Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:25 pm

This is so ourageous! i was incarcerarated recently with crystal for the second time. she talks about nothing else and when i say nothing else i mean absolutely nothing else except Emily, Michelle, Johnny and David. She talks about Alamo Transport and how they promised her pink trailer and wont didnt give it to her. She also talks about hoe jealous michelle is of her do to David. She tries to get other girls that are getting out to call david and tell him to come and see her or put money on her books. Everyone becomes irritated because this is all she talks about all day and all night even to herself. The guards have to tell her to shut up constantly because she finds any reason whatsoever to bring it up. if she behaves this way in jail i can imagine how she acted out there towards you all. my heart goes out to you. manly the mothers because im one myself.
avatar
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Stalking suspect Crystal Mercado sentenced to 8 years/ Express News Had A Similar Story About Crystal Mercado/ Sentenced to 8 years for stalking

Post by Nama on Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:10 pm

Well, she won't be bothering anyone for eight years.

_________________
I've never been willing to sacrifice functionality for beauty ~ My Father
avatar
Nama
Administration
Administration

Join date : 2009-05-28

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Stalking suspect Crystal Mercado sentenced to 8 years/ Express News Had A Similar Story About Crystal Mercado/ Sentenced to 8 years for stalking

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum