|'Landlords from Hell' Menaced Tenants|
|By CHRISTINA NG (@ChristinaNg27)||Jun 20, 2013, 10:58 AM|
A California husband and wife deemed the "landlords from hell" by authorities are headed for four years in prison for menacing their tenants, according to authorities.
The landlords' actions ranged from cutting holes in the floor of one victim's living room with a power saw while he was inside the apartment to soaking victims' beds, clothes and electronics with ammonia, according to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.
"The actions of these defendants are so outlandish and brazen that it sounds like the plot line of a horror movie," district attorney George Gascon said in a statement. "This case shows you you cannot flee this country and avoid the consequences of your actions. These defendants will be held fully accountable for their crimes."
Kip Macy, 38, and his wife, Nicole Macy, 37, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of residential burglary, one felony count of stalking and one felony count of attempted grand theft.
The couple owned an apartment building in the up-and-coming South of Market area of San Francisco. They wanted to evict their tenants in order to renovate the apartments and sell them individually, according to authorities.
The district attorney called their list of crimes "insane."
Nicole Macy sent fraudulent emails to the attorney of one of their tenants with whom they were involved in a civil case, the DA said. In the emails, she pretended to be the victim and fired the victim's lawyer.
In another incident, she sent fraudulent emails to her own civil attorney in which she pretended to be same victim and threatened to "kidnap and dismember the attorney's children," the DA's office said.
Authorities also described two incidents in which the Macys used a power saw to cut holes in a victim's living room floor while he was in the apartment.
"The defendants also cut multiple sections out of the joists below the victim's floors, in an apparent attempt to make the floor collapse while people were standing on it," the DA's office wrote in a news release. "Before cutting the joists, Nicole Macy had asked a Department of Building Inspector which beam she would need to cut to make the building structurally unsound in order to red tag the building and order all tenants out."
Kip Macy's attorney, Lisa DewBerry, denied that he participated in cutting the support beams.
"He and his wife were naive when coming to a town like San Francisco, to try and do what they wanted to do, not realizing how tough the landlord-tenant laws are here," DewBerry told ABC News' San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV. "They're not saying that their behavior was appropriate. They regret their behavior."
The laundry list of offenses the two were accused of also included purchasing a semi-automatic handgun and threatening to shoot the building manager, changing locks, cutting phone lines, shutting off utilities, removing a victims' belongings from their apartment and destroying them, multiple burglaries and threatening letters to victims.
The events took place from September 2005 to December 2007.
The couple were charged with felonies in April 2008, but posted bail and ran away to Italy, authorities said. They were taken into custody in Italy in May 2012 and extradited back to the U.S. on May 17, 2013, when bail was set at $2 million for each of them.
After pleading guilty to four felony counts on Tuesday, the couple are scheduled to be sentenced to four years and four months in state prison on Aug. 22.