Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Jul 16, 2014 04:10 pm CDT
It sounds like a scene from a Sandra Bullock movie, but it wasn’t.
In a real-life drama for Sandra Bullock, the actress awakened to banging sounds in her home early one morning last month, opened her bedroom door and saw a man she didn’t know in dark clothing headed to the stairs. She closed and locked the door and called police, who said they found Joshua James Corbett, 39, coming downstairs when they arrived, reports the Associated Press.
Search warrant affidavits say Corbett admitted he had broken in, explaining he had wanted to alert her of security issues. Although he was unarmed in the June 8 incident, authorities later found an illegal weapons stockpile at his home and a storage area, including a machine gun and two fully automatic rifles, according to the AP and the L.A. Now page of the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).
Corbett also had been watching Bullock and had with him a letter addressed to her signed “Your husband, Joshua James Corbett,” according to the affidavits and a prosecutor in the Los Angeles case, when he allegedly climbed over a fence topped with barbed wire at her home and forced open a door to a sunroom. “[Y]ou are my wife by law, the law of God and belong to me,” the letter contended at one point.
In the Internet age, it is relatively easy for criminals and obsessed fans to get hold of personal information about celebrities and courts don’t always take a hard line on the “real and terrifying threat” created to celebrities and their families by stalkers, said attorney Blair Berk in a written statement provided to the Times. She represents Selena Gomez, who reportedly had a stranger enter her guest house.
“The biggest problem I see happening is the difficulty we find in getting prosecutors to take seriously the repeated violations of criminal and civil restraining orders by stalkers, especially those with a history of violence and use of weapons,” said Berk. “These are complete strangers who show up in my clients’ homes and at their children’s schools and pose a real and terrifying threat to their security.”
Corbett was initially charged last month with stalking, residential burglary and machine gun possession, pleaded not guilty and was being held in lieu of $185,000 bail, CNN reported at the time.
Numerous felony weapons charges were made against him as well later in the month and his bail was then increased to $2 million, the City News Service reported.
The articles don’t include any comment by Corbett or his legal counsel.