New details in Merced County judge stalking case
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Attorneys read letters in court that both sides agree Keith Gallagher sent to a Merced County court commissioner and his wife. To protect the victims, we're not revealing their identities.
Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom as attorneys gave their opening statements in the trial of Keith Gallagher. The 55-year-old is accused of stalking a superior court commissioner and his wife. He's also facing three counts of vandalism. Gallagher pleaded not guilty during a video arraignment in March.
prosecutors say Gallagher started sending threatening letters to the couple last year after the commissioner granted an emergency order giving Gallagher's wife full custody of their twin sons, who are now 14. Gallagher cried as these pictures were shown in court. The victims in this case also have twins, and one of the letters they received said, "Hopefully your twins will eventually have a better understanding of what a scumbag their dad is."
Prosecutors also say Gallagher spray painted vulgar phrases on the home of the commissioner and another judge involved in his case, and that he used chalk to write expletives along with the commissioner's name in three different places outside the courthouse.
The deputy district attorney went on to tell jurors Gallagher applied to buy a gun shortly after he started making threats. The defense attorney in the case does not deny any of the allegations against Gallagher, but says the father was only exercising his right to free speech after being heartbroken by the court ruling that separated him from his sons. He also claims his client never made any physical threats toward anyone. Gallagher faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted.
crimetracker, court, merced county, merced, local, sara sandrik
- Madera family files claim against city of Los Angeles
- The Red Wave hits the road
- Judge orders hospital to keep teen on support
- Police search for suspects who shot a Fresno teacher
- Fresno State program gets students interested in STEM classes
- Parlier students get iPad Airs
- Ryann Jones found guilty of second degree murder
- Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl: Chance for 'Dogs to break bowl...
- Fire burns Three Rivers landmark
- Valley stores open extra hour for holiday rush
- Senator Harry Reid in hospital for observation
- Man charged in Elbow Room fight pleads not guilty
- Obama: 2014 can be breakthrough year for US
- Spencer Scarber denied new trial in rape case
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos