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Man sent to prison for violently stalking woman

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A judge sent an Idaho Falls man to prison for stalking and battering a woman.

Jorge Mauricio Melendez, 34, received a two to seven-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony first-degree stalking and felony domestic battery. As part of a plea agreement signed before the Dec. 15 sentencing, several charges in three other cases were dismissed. The plea agreement also specified prosecutors would recommend the two to seven-year sentence.

In July, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office announced their search for Melendez who they called an “armed and dangerous” stalking suspect. Deputy reports obtained by show between May and July of 2020, Melendez stalked and threatened a woman when a court order prohibited him from contacting her.

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The situation escalated July 18, 2020, when Melendez went into the woman’s home without permission and damaged her phone to keep her from calling 911. Melendez assaulted the woman, saying her reporting domestic violence incidents over the previous weeks was running his life. Melendez said he would not stop entering the home until she was dead.

The victim said that each time Melendez violated the no-contact order, he would get more violent and she feared the man would kill her.

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Law enforcement found Melendez on July 22 during a traffic stop and took him into custody.

When handing down the sentence, District Judge Bruce Pickett also ordered Melendez to pay $3,021 in fees and fines, court records show.