After six hours of deliberation, a Henderson County jury convicted Earnest Ray Shirey, 42, of Frankston, of the third-degree offense of Stalking on April 14, in the 392nd District Court.
Shirey had been charged with stalking his ex-wife over several months prior to, and after the couple was divorced in September, 2009, culminating in an assault in July of 2010, charges for which are still pending with the County Court at Law.
Testimony from several witnesses, including his ex-wife and stepdaughter, related a constant barrage of text messages, phone calls, driving by their home, chasing and following the victim.
Scott McKee, Henderson County District Attorney, said that while reports of stalking are fairly common, it is rare for such a case to make it all the way to trial.
“Oftentimes the victims are not interested in pursuing the charge, or there simply isn’t enough evidence to take the case to trial,” McKee said. “But we take the claims seriously, as this type of situation, especially when it involves domestic violence as this one did, can turn ugly fast. Obviously, we felt this was a case that needed to be pursued. Given the length of time it took for the jury to reach a verdict, they certainly took it seriously as well, and we are pleased with the outcome.”
The case was tried by assistant district attorneys Mark Hall and Justin Weiner.
A hearing on punishment is scheduled for June 1.