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Landlords in Tenant-Torment Case Back in Jail

by Jaxon Van DerbekenSan Francisco Chronicle
February 20th, 2009

The San Francisco landlord couple accused of cutting floorboards from under their tenant as part of an alleged harassment campaign are back in jail after being indicted by a grand jury.

Kip Macy, 34, and Nicole Macy, 33, pleaded not guilty Thursday to more than dozen counts each in connection with their alleged effort to drive tenants from their South of Market apartment building so they could raise rents.

The Macys were first arrested in April 2008, but were soon freed on $250,000 bail apiece. A preliminary hearing was scheduled, at which a judge would decide whether they should be tried, but earlier this month the grand jury returned indictments.

The indictments - which restated charges already filed in amended complaints - meant the couple had to post bail again. This time, however, their bail-bond agent refused to help, citing the new allegations and the plunging value of the real estate the couple had put up as collateral.

Kip Macy's attorney, Lisa DewBerry, sought Thursday to have bail lowered to $10,000, but Superior Court Judge Charles Haines turned her down.

"Folks, $10,000 is not reasonable," Haines said.

The Macys are accused of harassing tenants who were resisting eviction from an apartment building at 744-746 Clementina St. Prosecutors say the couple went so far as to cut the joists supporting the floor of one of the tenants, Scott Morrow.

At one point, prosecutors said, Nicole Macy called 911 and reported Morrow as a vagrant sleeping in the building. Police removed him at gunpoint.

After the original charges were filed, prosecutors went to a grand jury with allegations that Nicole Macy had impersonated Morrow in harassing e-mails to his lawyer. She also posed as Morrow in e-mails threatening the children of the Macys' attorneys, authorities said.

Kip Macy was indicted on six stalking charges, four burglary counts, and one count each of theft, vandalism and receiving stolen property.

Nicole Macy is charged with the stalking counts, three counts of burglary, two counts of false personation and counts of theft, making threats, cutting a phone and receiving stolen property.

Their trial is scheduled for April 20.

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