A Las Vegas woman has been sentenced to a year in jail for sending herself Facebook "threats" from her ex-boyfriend, who Orange County sheriff's deputies mistakenly arrested four times for stalking, kidnapping and beating her.
Stephani Renae Lawson pleaded guilty Wednesday to one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, and one felony count of perjury. It was part of a plea deal that had three other counts dismissed.
Besides the jail time, the 25-year-old was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution.
Before September 2015, Lawson was living in Lake Forest, where she created a Facebook account that falsely depicted Tyler Parkervest of leveling threats against her, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Lawson then contacted the sheriff's department to claim Parkervest violated a restraining order, stalked her and threatened to kill her, showing investigators the phony Facebook messages. These were the basis for the Irvine man's four arrests between September and December 2015, prosecutors explain.
On May 3 and 4 of this year, Lawson sent herself more threats through Facebook using her own devices and Internet provider address, and on May 5 she testified under penalty of perjury at her ex's preliminary hearing that he threatened her through Facebook both days before.
But something about the "evidence" Lawson showed prosecutors did not look right.
"The Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA) Bureau of Investigation conducted a follow-up investigation into the statements Lawson made while on the witness stand even after the case was bound over for trial," prosecutors say in a statement. "The OCDA investigation revealed that the true victim was [Parkervest] and he was not guilty of the crimes."
Lawson was charged in September, when a warrant was issued for her arrest. The U.S. Marshals Service arrested her in Vegas before she was extradited to Orange County by the OCDA.
Charges against the ex were dismissed on Oct. 6.