VISTA — A judge ordered a warrant for the arrest of Suzy Brown after she failed to show up to a court hearing on July 18 for charges of grand theft and felony vandalism in the lingering case against her.
The case alleges that Brown removed $1 million worth of property from her bank-owned Olivenhein mansion that neighbors in the exorbitant community dubbed the “monster house.”
The warrant was issued, but doesn’t take effect until Aug. 1, which allows her a chance to contact the court, said Robert Eacret, San Diego County District Attorney.
Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein also issued a $50,000 bond with the warrant. Eacret said he thought the case would possibly be resolved at the preliminary hearing, but Brown didn’t show up.
“We anticipated a possible settlement,” he said.
Brown has been back and forth to the Vista courthouse since 2009, after the bank foreclosed on the $13 million 16,000-square-foot mansion and reported items such as doors and fixtures were missing just days after Brown moved out.
She had previously admitted to the theft of the items, which had been returned, according to reports.
At Brown’s first arraignment the charges were dismissed because there wasn’t an official record of the house being bank owned, but the charges were re-instated and at a September 2010 court date Brown entered a not-guilty plea.
Brown could serve up to 3 years and 8 months in prison if convicted of the charges, according to Eacret.
Brown bought the house in 2006 with money from 60 investors, with the goal of turning it into a luxury rehab center.
But neighbors opposed the idea and fought against the retreat plans. Reports say that Brown stopped making payments on the mortgage in 2007.
John Shumate lives in the neighborhood, and was one of the witnesses on the prosecutor’s list who was set to testify at the hearing. He said that he was informed before the hearing that witnesses were no longer needed.
Shumate said he was told by the district attorney’s office that Brown was expected to enter a plea at the hearing. Shumate attended the hearing despite not being needed.
“Her counsel spoke up and said ‘Suzy’s not here. We were supposed to plea today,’” Shumate said.
Brown’s public defender, Daniel Segura, said he couldn’t comment on the case because it is still active.