Burglary count added against man charged with stalking Halle Berry
7/27/2011, 7:43 a.m.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.--A man already charged with stalking Halle Berry was hit with an additional criminal count today for allegedly breaking into a guest house at the actress' residence.
Richard Anthony Franco, 27, of Commerce, was charged with first-degree residential burglary for the alleged July 10 break-in. Franco, who pleaded not guilty to the new charge, had previously been charged with one felony count of stalking for allegedly showing up at Berry's Hollywood Hills home between July 9 and July 11.
He was arrested there July 11 after neighbors reported the presence of a possible burglar.
At Franco's initial court appearance July 13, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Upinder S. Kalra granted a protective order barring Franco from coming within 500 yards of the Oscar-winning actress--identified in the criminal complaint as "Halle B."--and her home or contacting her by electronic, written or telephonic methods.
Deputy District Attorney Wendy Segall told the judge Franco was seen on Berry's property three days in a row, and that Berry identified him as the man she had seen.
"She is in fear for her safety," the prosecutor said, noting that Franco was seen on a videotape hiding in bushes on one occasion.
On July 12, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson issued a temporary stay-away order, directing Franco to stay 100 yards away from Berry and her daughter.
"Richard Franco is a stranger to me and I have no desire to have any contact with him," Berry wrote in a court declaration. "He has terrorized me and my family in three consecutive incidents over the last three days.
"... This person has jeopardized not only my own personal safety, but also the safety and well-being of my family," she wrote, adding that she was "extremely frightened of him and what he might do to me or those I love."
Franco is on probation after pleading no contest in June to a misdemeanor battery count, according to the District Attorney's Office.