Man allegedly placed camera in ex's bedroom

 

A Kevil man was arrested Wednesday after McCracken County officials found a hidden video and audio surveillance system installed behind a painting in his ex-wife's bedroom.

Michael Byers, 38, turned himself in to the sheriff's department Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Byers was released later that day after paying a $26,500 bond.

McCracken Sgt. Darrin Frommeyer said the department was contacted by the ex-wife on June 24 saying there was a loud high-pitched noise coming from the bedroom in her Kevil home.

"She said she looked everywhere in the bedroom, turned the power off (in the house), and she could still hear it," Frommeyer said. The woman also had her son look under the house and she checked the attic but nothing was found, the sergeant added.

The next morning, Frommeyer went out to the house to take a look around.

"When I got there, she had the painting off the wall," Frommeyer said. "It was a large painting, and on the back of the painting was a small pinhole camera that was attached with wiring."

The painting hung on the west wall of the woman's bedroom, Frommeyer said, and the camera was aimed so it could see part of her bed and part of the bathroom.

"He had cut a hole in the west wall - maybe three by five inches - and he ran the wires from the attic," the sergeant said.

The sergeant said he followed the wires into the attic where he found a digital video recorder and a back-up power supply hidden under the insulation. Frommeyer then followed cables from the attic to the woman's home office where the DVR was connected to her wifi, which made it possible for the video to be viewed remotely.

"He knew what he was doing," Frommeyer said. "This is what he does for a living. He installs home alarms systems and video surveillance systems."

Frommeyer attributed the loud noise the woman had heard the day before to some sort of malfunction with the equipment, which ultimately led to the woman's discovery of the camera.

Frommeyer said he believes the equipment was installed months ago, most likely sometime between October 2014 and January 2015 when Byers and his ex-wife were trying to reconcile their marriage.

"They've been divorced for over year," Frommeyer said. "After they were divorced they tried to work on their marriage, and they got together in October and he stayed with her until January then they broke up again."

Once the equipment was collected, Frommeyer said he took it back to the sheriff's department where he watched what had been recorded.

The video, Frommeyer said, showed Byers in the woman's house on June 18 rummaging through her bedroom.

"He was going through drawers, looking under the mattress, under the covers â ¦ I don't know what he was looking for, but he was going through her whole bedroom," he said.

Further investigation has led officials to believe Byers had also entered the house on a second occasion in the last two weeks.

All of this occurred, Frommeyer said, while the ex-wife had an emergency protective order against Byers that required he stay at least 500 feet away from her and her home.

The EPO had been signed on June 10 and was served to Byers on June 12, Frommeyer said.

Byers is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary, installing an eavesdropping device, eavesdropping, two counts of violating an emergency protective order, first-degree criminal trespassing and theft by unlawful taking under $500.

Contact Kat Russell, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8653.

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