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Alleged stalker's trial rescheduled as victims left in the dark

Updated: 08/13/2014 10:24 PM | Created: 08/13/2014 9:19 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Frustration with the legal system is building for an Albuquerque woman who says a mentally ill homeless man is stalking and threatening to kill her and her teenage daughter.  

We have reported on Elizabeth Sacco's fear that the accused stalker will be found incompetent to stand trial and released from jail to stalk again.  Now the story becomes one of not just fear, but frustration too.

Shayne Lewis was scheduled for a bench trial in Metro Court Wednesday morning. He's accused of cornering Elizabeth's 15-year-old daughter on a city bus and threatening to kill her.

Both mother and daughter showed up at court, missing the first day of school, only to discover the courtroom locked up and the trial re-scheduled.

Members of the Guardians of the Children escorted them to court. It's a group that provides security and supports kids who are abused or threatened. It turns out that prosecutors, defense lawyers and the judge worked out details of the postponement – but as so often happens, the job of contacting the victims got lost in the shuffle.

"Coming here is hard enough," Elizabeth said outside the courthouse. "Being afraid that we're going to see this man who has caused harm to a child, has instilled fear in her parent – just to be told I'm sorry, you've been re-scheduled. You know that's not fair."

Guardians of the Children is a motorcycle club that started in San Antonio eight years ago. The local chapter in Albuquerque started last winter. The Shayne Lewis case got their attention.

"He is dangerous," said the Guardians' president who goes by the road name "Classic". 

"When you threaten to physically hurt somebody or kill somebody, we don't dismiss it as, 'oh, the guy's crazy,' or anything. We take it as a threat and we will protect that child."

Shayne Lewis recently had a shoplifting charge dismissed when the court found him incompetent to stand trial. Could the assault charge go the same way?

"I want to see a law here in the state of New Mexico that says the mentally ill, only because they have a mental health issue, that doesn't mean they get a get-out-of-jail free card," Elizabeth said.

Shayne Lewis' assault trial is now re-scheduled for Sept. 8.


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