A Vero Beach man already in jail on a stalking charge was convicted on another charge after 718 phone calls to his ex-girlfriend and three postcards addressed to a toddler.
On Monday, Jerry Shelley, 37, was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail for violation of a protective injunction. He’ll remain in Indian River County Jail.
Shelley’s ex-girlfriend, Molly Cigala, told the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday about his phone fusillade. The toddler is Cigala’s child, but the sheriff’s office said the messages on the postcards were for Shelley.
The phone calls, which averaged 21 a day, and post cards counted as violations of both the no-contact order from Indian River County Court in the stalking criminal case and the protective order Cigala got against Shelley separately.
So, last Wednesday, prosecutors dropped the original stalking charge and replaced it with the violation of a protective injunction charge.
In addition to whatever time he has spent in county jail, Shelley did a month in state prison for attempted arson of a home; three months in prison for trafficking stolen property; and nine months for possession of methamphetamine and selling, making or delivering meth. His last stay with the state ended July 24, 2015.
According to an arrest report, Cigala told IRCSO Deputy Andrew Ward on Aug. 10 that Shelley had spent the previous week “harassing her with emails” after she’d kept blocked his new phone numbers.
“Molly advised Jerry steals credit cards and online bank account information and he is attempting to force her into a relationship by blackmailing her with stolen credit card information, stating he is going to report her to the sheriff’s office for dealing in stolen property,” the report said.
About an hour later, the report said, Cigala called Ward to report Shelley had texted her that he was outside her home. The deputy said when he got to Cigala’s place 54 minutes later, at 1:01 a.m., Shelley was leaving the neighborhood on his bike.
“Jerry stated he likes to ride his bike at this time at night even though he lives 13 miles away from where he was stopped,” Ward wrote. “Jerry stated while he was riding his bike on A1A, Molly texted him to meet and he obliged...”
Ward still put Shelley in the back of the cop cruiser. He said a search of Shelley’s backpack revealed a syringe, several empty dime-sized Ziploc bags, an electronic scale, four credit cards in the name of three people, and another person’s passport with a driver’s license and email address.
In addition to stalking, Shelley got charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, unauthorized possession of a driver’s license and first-degree petit theft.
Wednesday, Cigala went to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office to tell them about the phone calls and post cards. A check showed that over the previous 34 days, 718 calls had been made from Shelley’s cell block to Cigala’s phone number. Video showed Shelley on the phone at a time the logs said Cigala’s number was called.