Attorney: Man accused of trying to stalk Miley Cyrus is ‘a human being’ struggling with grief

Attorney: Miley stalking suspect ‘a human being’

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. — A 53-year-old man charged with attempting to stalk “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus is “a human being” struggling with grief who might need help, his defense attorney said Tuesday.

Mark McLeod of Appling appeared briefly Tuesday before a Tybee Island Municipal Court judge, who postponed a scheduled hearing in the case until next Tuesday. Outside the courtroom, his court-appointed lawyer said people shouldn’t jump to conclusions that McLeod is dangerous.

“People need to understand that, really, he’s a human being,” attorney James Byrne told The Associated Press. “If there’s something wrong, we need to address it. He’s one of our fellow citizens who might need some help.”

Police on Tybee Island, 12 miles east of Savannah, arrested McLeod twice on misdemeanor charges June 22 and Aug. 4. Both times, police say, McLeod came to the island looking for 16-year-old Cyrus as she filmed a movie on the Georgia coast. Police said he told officers he was secretly engaged to the teen pop star.

He’s spent the last two weeks in Chatham County jail on $55,200 bond.

Byrne declined to say much about the case, but he said McLeod had been having a rough time before his arrest: His mother and brother both died in the last year and a half, and that McLeod had lost his job as an assistant plumber and been unable to find work.

Prosecutors asked Judge Steven Scheer to postpone McLeod’s preliminary hearing Tuesday, at which police were expected to disclose some evidence, because the lead investigator was unavailable and results were not yet complete from a police search of McLeod’s home Aug. 6.

Byrne said the search warrant showed police seized some magazines and personal papers from McLeod’s house. Police have previously said they also took McLeod’s computer.


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