A husband and wife who have been called the “landlords from hell” for a series of attacks and threats against tenants in a San Francisco apartment building were each sentenced to more than four years in prison today.
Kip Macy, 38, and his wife Nicole Macy, 37, were each sentenced today in San Francisco Superior Court to four years and four months in state prison, with credit for time served. They were also ordered to pay restitution to victims.
The couple pleaded guilty in June to two felony counts of residential burglary, one felony count of stalking and one felony count of attempted grand theft, shortly after they were extradited from Italy.
The Macys were first charged in 2008 in connection with a case that began when the couple wanted to evict tenants out of a six-unit apartment building they owned in the 700 block of Clementina Street in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
The couple had hoped to renovate the apartments and sell the building, prosecutors said.
Starting in August 2006, Nicole Macy sent an email from an account she created pretending to be a tenant to fire an attorney who was representing the tenant in a civil matter against the Macys, prosecutors said.
She also sent another fraudulent email to her own attorneys, pretending to be the tenant and threatening to kidnap and dismember the attorneys’ children, according to the district attorney’s office.
The next month, the Macys twice cut holes in the floor of one victim’s living room with a power saw. The tenant took a picture of one of the incidents and used a hammer to strike the saw and stop the cutting, prosecutors said.
They also cut sections out of the joists below the victim’s floor in an apparent attempt to make the floor collapse.
The couple also threatened to shoot another victim who was working as a building manager for them and burglarized other tenants’ units while soaking beds, clothes and electronics in ammonia on one occasion, prosecutors said.
As they were set to appear for trial in June 2010, the Macys failed to appear in court and fled the country.
They were eventually taken into custody in Milan, Italy, in May 2012 with the assistance of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service. After fighting extradition, they were transported back to San Francisco.
At today’s sentencing hearing, both defendants expressed remorse for their actions through their attorneys.
“It’s very tragic,” defense attorney Lisa Dewberry, representing Kip Macy, said after the sentencing.
“There was not anybody in this case I would call honorable.”
Defense attorney George Borges, representing Nicole Macy, said the sentence was too stiff and noted that the district attorney had offered a shorter sentence before the couple fled to Italy.
However, Ricardo Cartagena, who worked as a building manager for the Macys, said the sentence was not long enough.
“It’s not a long time,” Cartagena said. “It’s not enough. These sort of people, they need to learn to change their behavior.”
Cartagena told the court today that he still fears for his life and believes the couple might kill him, and said outside of court that he is considering leaving the city due to his family’s fears.
“They hate me for being a witness in this case,” he said in a victim witness statement. “It is still making me sick and anxious.”
Cartagena said a rift grew between him and the Macys after he asked to be reimbursed for $60,000 in costs to repair the damaged joists, and they began throwing his property in the garbage and frequently changed the locks to his unit before eventually threatening to shoot him during a phone call.
“The facts and circumstances of this case are so egregious they rival that of a movie script,” district attorney’s office spokesman Alex Bastian said.
“They are going to be given time to think about they’ve done,” Bastian said.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News