Not Guilty of Aggravated Stalking

In Blog, Recent Cases by Chris Kessel

That was the verdict in a recent trial at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. This was a particularly satisfying win for Chris Kessel Law. Don’t get me wrong, all wins are satisfying…but this one was extra special.

My client had been accused, by her ex-husband, of repeatedly violating a PPO (personal protection order) that he put in place against her. This resulted in charged of aggravated stalking. The PPO was based on several lies. But because of how he had served her with the PPO, she was never able to challenge it in court. On top of that, he had previously lied about being assaulted. So she was on probation for that assault and the violation of the PPO would constitute a violation of her probation. So a conviction would constitute a conviction on the new charges, a violation of her probation, and still be a violation of the PPO. This could have easily resulted in her doing jail time, losing her job, and losing her kids. So yeah, the stakes were high.

The basis of these charges were emails my client allegedly sent to her ex. Her ex produced several printed out emails with my client’s email address appearing as the sender of the emails. On its face, the emails appeared to have been sent from my client. However, she was adamant that she did not send the emails. So we got an expert. He was able to examine her laptop, cell phone, and the cloud from Google that connected to her email account. He was able to show that the emails did not come from her account. Further, he was able to show that there wasn’t even a deleted email from her account that matched the date/time stamp of the emails produced by the ex-husband.

All of this led to the jury returning a verdict of “not guilty.” My client broke down in tears as the jury foreperson read the verdict. I almost got emotional. It can be so heartbreakng watching someone get crushed under the (sometimes) overwhelming weight of the criminal justice system. It was sucha genuine pleasure to help to remove that weight from her shoulders.