A man known in his trailer park community as “Santa Claus” insisted he meant no harm when he broke into his neighbor’s home and car and left her handwritten notes and underwear and expressed his desire that she would wear the panties.
Some of the panties belonged to her — which led to the three burglary charges for Isitro Lee Sanches.
The Panama City man was also charged with aggravated stalking last April by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
Sanches faces up to 40 years in prison on the combined charges, according to the State Attorney’s Office. His sentencing is set for May 11.
Prosecutor Calie Rivera told the jury that from January to April 2017, one of Sanches’ neighbors received countless notes and pieces of undergarments in her car, on her front porch and inside her home on her bed. Within each note was a subtle message that a stranger was watching her and waiting for the day he could see her in the underwear he’d picked.
“This case was a nightmare,” Rivera said. “It was one long nightmare from January to April 2017.”
Sanches’ defense attorney, Seth Killion, argued that prosecutors had no direct evidence that tied him to the stalking charge. He conceded Sanches was in her home, but that he did not have a criminal intent.
“The only thing they are going to prove is that he was there,” Killion told the jury. “But they won’t be able to prove he was there with intent to commit a crime.”
The jury disagreed.
Rivera presented bag after bag of panties to the jury during the woman’s testimony, having her read aloud the notes attached. The woman said while the jury saw numerous panties in the trial, she hadn’t been able to collect all of them