Halle Berry stalker sentenced to more than a year in jail
A convicted felon arrested after he was caught three times at the home of Halle Berry was sentenced Thursday to 386 days in jail on a plea of no contest to felony stalking charges.
Richard Anthony Franco has already served half the time while his case has been heard. He must also stay away from the Oscar-winning actress for 10 years.
Franco was already on probation when he was arrested in July after Berry's neighbors reported a possible burglar. In the wake of the incidents, Berry got a restraining order against Franco. “This person has invaded and trampled upon the most fundamental sense of security I have … I am extremely frightened," she said in her request for the order.
In the first incident in July, the actress was standing in her kitchen with her manager when they saw Franco in her backyard. He ran away after being spotted. Franco returned shortly before 5 p.m. the next day, a court filing said. Berry had stepped out of her house for a few minutes and when she returned to her kitchen “all of a sudden I sensed someone behind me and turned to see the same intruder standing less than a foot behind me, staring at me through the glass kitchen door,” she stated in the filing. “Panicking and in fear of my life, I turned my body and quickly hit the deadbolt lock on the glass door. I grabbed my phone and ran as fast as I could upstairs, slamming each door behind me as I ran. I got upstairs to a safe place, locked myself inside and dialed 911."
About six or seven minutes later, LAPD officers appeared but the intruder had fled. When security camera footage was reviewed, Berry said she could see the man hiding in the bushes when she was outside.
A day later, Berry was alone with her 3-year-old daughter when her security team alerted her via radio to “get to safety as quickly as possible with my daughter and stay there,” according to the filing.
A few minutes later, Franco was apprehended.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Halle Berry. Credit: Charley Gallay / Getty Image