Kurt Hildebrand

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Supreme court to hear convicted stalker's appeal

The case of a 62-year-old defrocked attorney who was convicted of felony stalking will be heard by the Nevada Supreme Court meeting in Yerington on Thursday.

Michael Charles Meisler was convicted by a Minden jury in January and sentenced to a dozen years in prison in March.

Meisler is challenging his conviction on four points.

During the motions hearings leading up to the trial, Meisler tried to get his arrest warrant thrown out because Douglas investigators pinged his cell phone to locate him without first getting a search warrant.

Meisler didn’t challenge the arrest warrant, just the means officers used to find him.

Investigator Nadine Chrzanowski said that because Meisler had entered the victim’s home, she felt it was important to locate him and take him into custody.

District Judge Michael Gibbons ruled that the Nevada Supreme Court allowed law enforcement to ping a cell phone without obtaining a search warrant. Meisler cited a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that law enforcement needed a warrant to use an electronic tracking device.

In his appeal, Meisler claims the pinging was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

He also challenged his conviction because Gibbons denied Meisler’s request to withdraw as his own counsel on the day jury selection began. In his ruling, Gibbons pointed out that Meisler argued to be his own counsel.

Gibbons also told Meisler that expert testimony by two attorneys and East Fork Justice of the Peace Tom Perkins wasn’t going to fly. The Supreme Court will determine whether that denial was in error.

He also claimed there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support the aggravated stalking charge.

Meisler was arrested Dec. 15, 2011, after he was accused of stalking a Johnson Lane woman over the previous month through letters, text messages, clippings, entering her home and leaving threatening messages there.

He was found guilty on Jan. 18, more than a year after his original arrest. He was sentenced on March 10.

Meisler had a previous conviction for stalking, which resulted in his being disbarred as an attorney.

Justices will hear oral arguments on Thursday at the Jeanne Dini Cultural Center.

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The Record Courier Updated Nov 12, 2013 03:52PM Published Nov 11, 2013 02:24PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.