A man faces stalking and burglary charges after allegedly breaking into Taylor Swift's three-story apartment in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood for the third time. The 23-year-old Florida native was previously convicted for breaking into the same apartment last year when he took a shower and a nap in the singer's $18 million property. He was just released from a six-month jail sentence and was serving five years of probation when he recently climbed a ladder and smashed a glass door with a concrete block in order to gain access to the apartment's second floor. In his first burglary arrest at the property in February 2018, he used a shovel to break through Swift's front door. The man was previously ordered to complete mental health counseling. The singer was reportedly not home at the time of the incidents.
Burglary Charges in Washington
In Washington, to be charged with burglary, one must unlawfully enter the property of another person without permission or invitation. Burglary charges can be in the first degree, second degree, or charged as residential burglary. Convictions require proof that a person intended to commit a crime once inside the property, either against the property itself or against a person who lives or works on the premises. In Washington, the intent to commit a burglary crime can be inferred by committing the act of unlawfully entering the property by itself.
In this case, the individual who broke into Swift's apartment would likely face a second degree or residential burglary charge. To be charged with first-degree burglary, the individual must have been armed with a deadly weapon or committed an assault against a person during the burglary. Second-degree and residential burglary are both class B felonies, although residential burglary is considered a more severe crime than second-degree burglary.
Stalking Charges in Washington
If these incidents occurred in Washington, Swift's stalker would likely face felony stalking charges. A conviction for felony stalking charges carries a punishment of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In Washington, stalking is charged as a felony if the individual has a prior conviction of harassing or stalking the victim, any convictions for stalking another person or being found in possession of a deadly weapon while stalking the victim. Because of the man's prior stalking conviction, he would likely face felony charges.
A conviction for misdemeanor stalking requires that the victim reasonably believe that the person charged with the crime would cause harm to them or their property, or that the defendant should have known that their behavior was causing the victim to feel fearful or intimidated, even they did not intend to do so.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Steve Karimi
If you find yourself facing burglary or stalking charges in Washington, it's important to have an experienced attorney to defend your rights in court. Seattle attorney Steve Karimi has been successfully defending clients against difficult criminal charges for years. Contact the Law Office of Steve Karimi online or by calling (206) 621-8777.