San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
OT: Cops Wife Convicted of Trashing House
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Submitted by HarryBosch on May 20, 2012 - 7:25am
Monique Acosta, 36, was convicted of vandalizing and stealing from a home she and her husband, a former San Diego Police officer, owned before a bank foreclosed on it.
The wife of a former San Diego Police officer was convicted today of trashing their home after a bank foreclosed on it.
A jury at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley found Monique Acosta, 36, wife of Robert Acosta, 40, guilty of felony theft of fixtures, according to court records.
The jury deliberated all day, and will continue tomorrow to deliberate on Robert Acosta's verdict on Monday after an alternate juror takes the place of a primary, who could not return after today, according to John Hall, a spokesperson for the District Attorney.
Monique Acosta faces four years in prison, though a sentencing date will not be set until after the jury decides a verdict for her husband.
The woman and her husband were evicted in 2010 from their home on Via Laguna in French Valley. When the bank got the house, they found the home with tens of thousands of dollars of damage.
Walls were spray painted with various scribbles and drawings, drawers, cabinet doors, countertops, air conditioners and tiles were missing, dye was scrubbed into grout, epoxy was dumped in the pool along with several torn-out trees and many fixtures were missing, according to witnesses who testified during the trial.
Defense argued the damage was done because they had to move out in a hurry and planned to come back to clean, but the bank took possession of the home sooner than they expected.
Josh Knight, the defendants' attorney, argued they took fixtures, but they were taking only things they paid for out of their own pockets and believed they owned.
Prosecutor Marcus Garrett said during closing arguments on Thursday this was the couple's way of "waving goodbye to the bank without putting up four of their fingers."
The couple offered to make a "cash-for-keys" deal with the bank; if they got the money, the bank would get the house in good condition. The bank declined.
Photos shown during the trial showed the couple and some friends stripping rock facing from the home's exterior, removing drawers, taking down a garage door and cutting trees down at their stumps.
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