San Francisco 'landlords from hell' plead guilty to felonies


At the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, District Attorney George Gascon used words like "brazen" when he talked about 38-year-old former software engineer Kip Macy and his 37-year-old wife Nicole Macy.

The two agreed to a plea deal that will send them to state prison for just over four years and count as two strikes under California's three strikes law.

Kip and Nicole Macy are certainly not the first landlords to try to evict their tenants. But according to the San Francisco DA, what happened at a South of Market apartment building from September 2005 to December 2007 was what he calls "insane."

"Some of the things that they did, for instance, is they actually cut a large hole in the living room," DA Gascon said. "We know also there were many other things that took place. The defendants soaked the victim's bed and clothes and electronics with ammonia."

"He and his wife were naïve when coming to a town like San Francisco, to try and do what they wanted to do, not realizing how tough the landlord tenant laws are here," said Kip Macy's attorney, Lisa Dewberry. "They're not saying their behavior was appropriate, they regret their behavior."

Dewberry denies her client participated in the most dangerous behavior -- cutting the joists, the support beams below one tenant's floor.

"They want to make it collapse," Ricardo Cartagena said.

According to Cartagena, he was asked and refused to do that when he worked as a property manager for the couple and lived in the building. After that, he says they became increasingly angry with him.

"Until one day they told me if I came to the building they will shoot me," Cartagena said. "That they already have a weapon, that they will shoot me."

Eventually the Macy's were indicted, charged, and scheduled for trial in 2010. But they escaped to Italy. It took the U.S. Marshal and special agents from the diplomatic services to have them extradited last month.

"I'm really glad," Cartagena said. "Finally it's justice."

Carolyn: "Landlords from hell?"
Lisa: "Well, I think that's unfair."

In a city where two thirds of the residents are renters, I think a lot of people would disagree with her, they would say the Macy's were "landlords from hell."

The two will be sentenced in August.

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