Neighbours defend accused stalker

Neighbours said Sunday that it’s the apparent normality of the 47-year-old man who lived in a suburban Chicago town house that’s made his arrest for allegedly stalking and secretly taping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in the nude so upsetting.

WESTMONT, Ill. — Neighbours said Sunday that it’s the apparent normality of the 47-year-old man who lived in a suburban Chicago town house that’s made his arrest for allegedly stalking and secretly taping ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in the nude so upsetting.

They said Michael David Barrett kept the yard in front of his two-story home neat, often played golf and enjoyed cooking on his backyard patio grill. But neighbours say Barrett kept to himself and no one on his street in Westmont, about 20 miles west of Chicago, seemed to know him well.

Dolares Shea, the head of the neighbourhood association, lives across the street from Barrett. The 79-year-old woman called the allegations shocking and said there’s nothing that made Barrett stand out in a community favoured by retirees, doctors and lawyers.

Barrett was being held in jail over the weekend after his arrest Friday at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Investigators believe he recorded ESPN reporter Erin Andrews by aiming a cell phone camera through an altered peephole in the door of her hotel room.

A judge was expected to decide Monday whether Barrett should be returned to California as a federal prisoner or free on bail. He faces charges in Los Angeles, where TMZ is based, of interstate stalking and could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

An FBI affidavit said Barrett requested and stayed in a room near Andrews at a Tennessee hotel where seven videos were likely taken.

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