According to the District Attorney’s Office, “Elisa Merrill Wilson was convicted of Harassment by a jury of her peers on December 16, 2011 after an intense four-day trial.” After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury found 58 year-old Elisa Wilson of Katy guilty of tormenting and threatening her neighbors between 2009 and 2010.
Lead prosecutor Laurel Ellisor said Elisa Wilson and three families became friends after moving into the posh Kelliwood Terrace neighborhood. As time progressed and issues arose between the Wilsons and another family, the neighborhood was in turmoil and the remaining neighbors were forced to choose sides. The victim, who the District Attorney’s Office chose not to identify, testified for a neighbor in a peace bond hearing against Elisa Wilson. Reportedly, after that, Wilson then began harassing both families. As time passed, Wilson told various neighbors as well as a Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Detective that the complainant was a prostitute. As part of the continued harassment, Wilson also made complaints to Child Protective Services (CPS ) alleging that the victim was involved in a child pornography ring with one of the other families’ children.
As things escalated, the victim repeatedly asked Wilson not to contact her. Shortly thereafter, Wilson began a barrage of telephone calls to the victim that lasted until March 2010. Another example of the vicious harassment occurred in June of 2009, when the victim was having her backyard deck and driveway expanded. According to reports, Wilson complained about the way the cement work was being done – even calling the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. However, an environmental enforcement officer went to the residence and verified the work was being done correctly.
“On August 30, 2009, the victim and her fiancé were grocery shopping when they encountered Wilson. While the couple were at the checkout counter, Wilson cursed and screamed at them “stating that the victim was a prostitute and that her fiancé was her pimp and a drug dealer, ” said prosecutors. When in reality, the complainant’s fiancé is a retired US Marine and veteran of the Gulf War. Wilson continued to abuse and harass the victim by calling her the next day, and again in September and December 2009.
In early February of 2010, Wilson called the victim again to complain about a newspaper and threatened to call the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Later that same day, the victim and her fiancé were in their front yard when Wilson walked by with her dogs and cursed at the victim and screamed that she was a prostitute and then turned to her fiancé and told him to “go smoke pot.” One of Wilson’s former friends and neighbor came outside at the time and the defendant screamed that she was a “thief.” The defendant’s final phone call to her victim was on March 10, 2010 – almost a year after the harassment began.
“For nearly a year, the complainant, as well as other neighbors, lost their ability to live in peace and in privacy due to Elisa Wilson’s actions,” said prosecutor Amanda Bolin. “The jury sent a clear message that this type of harassing, annoying and offensive behavior constituted a crime and that it will not be tolerated in Fort Bend County.”
Unable to come to an agreement with prosecutors, Wilson asked the court to render punishment after a hearing on December 21, 2011. During the punishment hearing, witnesses testified that in April 2010, while the victim was in her yard on the phone with a friend, Wilson walked by and shouted “I’ll kill you.” And in January 2011, even after these charges were already pending, Wilson again yelled at the victim and her fiancé as they were walking by, “there goes that prostitute and drug dealer.”
Wilson was sentenced to a one-year probation during which she must pay a fine of $500, attend anger management classes and perform 100 hours of community service. She must also undergo psychological evaluation and has been ordered to have no further contact with her victim or any of the families previously harassed.
“Wilson’s actions are an affront to our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms in this country,” stated Ellisor. “For these good people to be tormented and afraid in their grocery store; their own neighborhood; their own yard, is just ridiculous.”
Wilson was tried in County Court at Law #2 before Presiding Judge Jeffrey McMeans. Harassment in this case is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in the county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000. Wilson is appealing the conviction.
Assistant District Attorneys Laurel Ellisor and Amanda Bolin prosecuted the case. Attorney David Bires represented Elisa Wilson.