Comm. Sarnoff Stalker Guilty On All Counts
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man accused of stalking Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was found guilty on all counts by a jury on Wednesday.
Reid Welch, 59, had no reaction as a court clerk read the verdict: guilty of one count of aggravated stalking, a felony charge, and 10 counts of violating an injunction ordering him to stay away from the commissioner and 10 counts of making threatening phone calls, both misdemeanors.
Prosecutors say he could face a maximum of 11 years behind bars for his crimes.
Over a span of a year-and-a-half, Welch sent more than 700 e-mails, made hundreds of phones calls and video-taped himself, according to Sarnoff, harassing and threatening both the commissioner and his wife.
According to Sarnoff, the trouble started in early 2010 when Welch asked Sarnoff to represent him against the Miami Police department for an alleged beating. Commissioner Sarnoff declined Welch’s request saying it would be a conflict of interest.
After that Welch organized a harassment campaign against him, according to Sarnoff.
“I’m trying to ruin his reputation because he ruined mine,” Welch told CBS4 in 2011.
The situation came to a head in October, 2011 when Sarnoff tackled Welch for allegedly removing campaign signs.
A judge will set his sentencing date on Friday.