BAYTOWN, Texas - Harris County prosecutors say a Baytown woman took retaliation to the next level when she used fake social media accounts and prank phone-call apps to have her ex-lover arrested more than half a dozen times.
Lisa Marie Garcia, 23, is now facing felony retaliation charges for allegedly sending herself threatening messages via fake Instagram accounts she created and a prank phone call app, making it appear as though they were from her ex-lover, Brandon Berrott.
Berrott was arrested eight times since September for the threatening messages.
“She didn’t do it once, she didn’t do it twice, she did it eight different times,” Berrot’s attorney Carl Moore said. “Nobody believed [Berrott], so he was put on house arrest after making bond, as a measure to protect the accusers.”
Moore says Berrott lost his job and his family has spent tens of thousands of dollars on bonds and legal fees related to the arrests.
“I blame the Baytown Police Department as much as anyone for continuing to accept these charges without doing the proper investigation,” said Moore.
Baytown Police say Garcia was very convincing when they responded to her emergency calls. Police say they were put in a tough position when a pregnant Garcia showed them messages supposedly from Berrott saying he was going to kill her.
“Our very first and foremost priority is the preservation of life. That’s our first priority,” Baytown Police Lieutenant Steve Dorris said. “So when we see these threats like this against somebody’s life, we have to take them seriously.”
Lieutenant Dorris says this is not something that happens normally and would never want to jail an innocent man. He says investigators are now faced with difficult situations now that involve electronic manipulation.
Moore said Berrott is considering civil action against the Baytown Police Department.