In the dispute between Alexis Walters and her parents, it’s hard to tell who’s acting more like a child.
And the Las Vegas police and Clark County courts are here to figure it out.
Walters’ mother, Shanna Silva, 36, and stepfather, Andrew Sicad, 32, were each charged with five felony counts of burglary and possession of stolen property after their daughter accused them of stealing and selling the electronics they helped her purchase.
Walters, 18, filed a police report in January after Silva and Sicad kicked her out of their home a few weeks after she became an adult. Walters stayed in Las Vegas and moved in with her stepmother.
She told police she was upset her parents kept — and then pawned — her expensive Apple laptop and Canon camera.
All three parties — Walters, her mother and her stepmom — told police they chipped in to buy the electronics for the teenager. Walters said she owned both the camera and computer, and her stepmother, Leah, actually charged the computer to a credit card, the report said.
A Metro police detective agreed with Walters, and so did the Clark County district attorney’s office.
Sicad, who pawned the items, was jailed Tuesday morning after Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen set bail at $2,000. He later bonded out. Silva, who now lives out of state, was not in custody.
The parents’ lawyer, Todd Leventhal, called the whole case “ridiculous” and criticized Hafen’s decision to put Sicad in jail on an issue that he said should have been handled by the family — not the criminal justice system.
There was no crime, he said. Walters’ parents kicked her out and took away the electronics because her grades were slipping, Leventhal said. Walters couldn’t afford to buy anything expensive without their help, he said.
“The judge did not look at one minute of this thing. He came down like a double-jack sledge hammer, not a gavel,” Leventhal said. “This case has no merit, and they (the prosecution) have to prove their case. So why put my client in jail?”
Walters’ version of events differed from Leventhal’s story. She told police that Sicad and Silva kicked her out in September, allowing her to take nothing except a bag of clothes, according to a police report.
Silva returned the camera and computer to her daughter in November, the report said, but the items disappeared from Walters’ car in December. The car is registered to Walters’ stepmom, Leah, and father, John, the report said, but Walters suspected her mother also had a key. There were no signs of a break-in, the report said.
Walters told a detective her mom sent her a text message indicating she planned to pawn the items. Walters accidentally deleted the message, the police report said.
Leventhal said Walters’ statement was a “complete fabrication.” Silva never had keys to a car she didn’t own, and certainly wouldn’t have broken into the car, he said.
“Why would she (Silva) give her daughter the stuff, only to take it back a month later? It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
Leventhal said Silva and Sicad never gave Walters the electronics after they kicked her out. The camera and computer had always stayed with Silva, who also used them — they didn’t only belong to Walters, he said.
“What rights do I have, as a parent, to something I use and helped buy?” he asked.
Sicad pawned the items to help pay the family’s bills, he told police, which included months of his stepdaughter’s unpaid portion of the family’s cellphone bill.
He received $700 total for the computer and camera, which police valued at $1,300 and $1,200, respectively. Police recovered both from a pawn shop after Walters reported the serial numbers as stolen.
When contacted by police, Silva initially told the detective the electronics were still at her home. But when the detective said he knew Sicad pawned them, Silva said she “helped pay for them” and didn’t understand how that was a crime.
The detective told her a judge would determine which party was right, the report said.
Walters did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Leventhal said Silva recently moved to Texas because of her job, but is being forced back to Las Vegas to clear her name. The case was a waste of public resources, he said.
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @blasky on Twitter.