EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 continues to follow the viral controversy in El Paso County involving a Black rancher and his wife, who claim to be harassed and terrorized by their white neighbors.
The case is very complex with vandalism, animal cruelty and allegations of racism, and then what appears to be an ongoing dispute between neighbors. It came to a boiling point on Monday when Courtney Mallery was arrested on a felony and two misdemeanor counts.
FOX31 obtained a probable cause affidavit, a court document detailing why Courtney was arrested. The rancher was booked on counts of stalking, tampering with a utility meter and theft under $50 after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
Courtney spent the night in jail and was released on a $6,000 bond, paid for by the NAACP, on Tuesday night. During the rancher’s bond hearing, the judge stated there was “probable cause” for the felony stalking charge. While trying to get her husband out of jail on Monday, Nicole Mallery responded to the stalking charge.
“They are alleging that we are stalking people for being on our own property, doing work on our own property,” Nicole said.
Court records give new details in rancher’s case
According to court records released on Thursday, the stalking allegations surround the Mallerys’ neighbor, Teresa Clark. The document states Clark is in “fear for her safety due to unusual and disturbing behavior by the Mallerys.”
It states Clark is disabled and takes care of her elderly mother. Clark provided the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office with over 4 gigabytes of digital media and a “stalking log” that she created. One of the big issues appears to be over property, specifically an easement between the Mallerys’ and Clark’s land. The document states the Mallerys have been repeatedly driving by her property as intimidation, sometimes at a high rate of speed, specifically when Clark enters or exits her home.
The stalking charge also came from surveillance cameras that records state are pointed at Clark’s home, one in the direction of her bedroom.
The Mallery family alleges their animals have been killed and their property vandalized. They shared that they installed cameras, hoping the harassment from citizens would stop. The document also states the Mallerys have filed over 15 internal affairs complaints against El Paso County deputies, including four on Sgt. Emory Ray Gerhart in the last two years, which were deemed unfounded.
Neighbors have history of protective orders
Gerhart is the applicant of the probable cause document, which states he’s the supervisor of the Rural Enforcement and Outreach Unit. Courtney recently started a petition online in an attempt to have Gerhart terminated for what he claims is a “corrupt abuse of power.”
According to the document, the theft under $50 charge stems from Courtney going into the easement and taking Clark’s trash can and putting it on his truck and driving away. The can is valued at $25.
The neighbors have a history of taking out protective orders against each other, some granted, some dismissed and some violated.
FOX31 reached out to Teresa Clark to share her side of the story and she declined an interview at this time.