1.6 McGilvary

McGilvary, 62

A Seminary man, who was previously convicted for threatening a public official and aggravated stalking, is again accused of aggravated stalking in Forrest County.

Through a joint investigation by the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office and the Petal Police Department, Robert McGilvary, 62, was arrested and charged Dec. 30. The stalking began in March 2021 and continued until his arrest, said Michael Pol, spokesman for the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office.

This was not the first time he had been convicted of stalking. The suspect was in prison for a prior conviction of the same charge from 2018, said Sheriff Charlie Sims.

“He continued to write letters and make unwanted overtures to this person while in prison and immediately upon his release,” Sims said.

For more than a decade a Forrest County woman lived in fear of McGilvary. In 2011, He was convicted on three counts of stalking a woman for three incidents occurring from 2009-2010 and was ordered to serve six months for each charge. In 2014 he was convicted on two counts of threatening a public official, in which he threatened then Petal municipal judge Seth Hunter.

After this, he was convicted and given a five-year sentence in 2018 for aggravated stalking of the same woman. According to court records, McGilvary began stalking a woman who was a stylist after she had cut his hair in 2008. McGilvary began to pursue her and when she expressed no interest, he began showing “patterns of erratic behavior” such as inviting her on vaca- tion and wanting to build a house where he could “always watch her,” court documents revealed. The salon owner banned McGilvary from the salon, but he continued to stalk the woman, showing up at public places when she was there, calling her and even her parents, asking if he could “bring her a dog.”

After he was convicted of three counts of stalking and served his time, he did not attempt to contact the woman again until 2015, court documents state. He left a note on her car with his number that read, “I’m not mad at you.” Investigators confirmed that it was McGilvary’s phone number written on the note after finding a pair of binoculars purchased with a receipt showing they were purchased at the Hattiesburg Walmart.

He was living in Jackson at the time in a halfway house and in court denied that he went to Petal that day or that he had purchased the binoculars, court documents showed.

He attempted to appeal his conviction, stating that the indictment failed to show a “course of conduct” but his conviction and sentence was upheld by Judge Robert Helfrich. McGilvary’s initial appearance was Sunday where his bond was set at $300,000. He is currently being held in the Forrest County Jail.

“I’m very appreciative to the Petal Police Department for their assistance,” Sims said. “January is ‘National Stalking Month,’ and we take these crimes very seriously, and we will hold perpetrators accountable.”

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