Man accused of spying with video cameras
A 72-year-old man who authorities say has used home-mounted video surveillance cameras to spy on neighbors in a bizarre multi-year pattern of stalking was arrested again last week on claims that he’s continued his unneighborly spying in violation of a court order.
Earl Lynn Stults, who appeared in court Thursday in a wheelchair, was advised he could be charged with felony stalking and misdemeanor counts of violating a protection order and harassment.
Stults, who lives at 300 McFarland Court, had no fewer than six surveillance cameras on his property, one of them hidden in a birdfeeder, when Grand Junction police were called Feb. 18, an arrest warrant affidavit said.
Two cameras were pointed at a neighbors’ home, violating a protection order from Stults’ most recent stalking case, the affidavit said.
Stults served eight months in the Mesa County Jail after pleading guilty to felony stalking and violating a protection order stemming from a 2011 case involving the same neighbors.
A protection order issued in the case barred him from having any cameras on his property filming his neighbors.
The cameras, which included night-vision technology, were removed.
Stults returned home from jail in October and things were “quiet” for some time, but the same neighbors said they recently observed a “flurry” of activity at the home, the affidavit said.
Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle on Thursday told County Judge Gretchen Larson he has “grave concerns” about the safety of the victims, alleging Stults has harassed them for eight years. He also said there are signs of “mental instability” with Stults.
In the 2011 case, a neighbor said Stults had yelled repeated insults at him, while another neighbor told police Stults repeatedly claims to be a “big game hunter” with high-powered rifles, an affidavit said.
“(Neighbor) said Stults bragged to him about being able to kill from what (a neighbor) characterized as ridiculous distances like 5,000 feet,” the affidavit said.
Stults’ home was described by an officer as “well-fortified.”
Stults refused to answer the door several times when officers tried contacting him, the affidavit said.
“Although officers are unable to contact Stults, his persistent video surveillance, inappropriate contacts and behavior suggest he has no intention of ceasing his action toward (neighbors) even after just being released from incarceration for eight months for similar behavior,” an officer wrote in the affidavit.
He’s being held at the jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.