The Roswell Police Department obtained three arrest warrants on charges of conspiracy to commit arson, Wednesday. One of the three, retired Roswell Fire Department employee Robert Gene Chester, 64, is also charged with retaliation against a witness.
The arson charges stem from an incident that took place on Nov. 20 where a woman awoke to find her car on fire, but the arson reflects a cycle of harassment and revenge that dates back to May 2011.
Chester had been arrested four times previously for aggravated stalking. The target in each case was the same female victim whose car had been destroyed on Nov. 20.
In two cases he pleaded no contest. In October, Chester was convicted on the fourth charge of aggravated stalking that occurred not long after his release from prison on Jan. 15, when he returned to Roswell to renew his vendetta against the 56-year-old victim.
The final incident occurred on Jan. 19, four days after his release. This time his movements were tracked using the ankle monitoring system Chester had to wear as a condition of his probation. Chester was sentenced on the fourth offense on Dec. 13 to four years in jail, three years with a one-year enhancement as a habitual offender.
The two named co-conspirators are listed in the affidavit of criminal complaint as Isaiah Chavez, 23, and Crystal Rose Servantez, also known as Woedi, whose picture was published in Roswell’s Most Wanted on Dec. 6.
The court records noted that Chavez is Chester’s cellmate at the Chaves County Detention Center. Detectives later learned of a conversation where Servantez allegedly described specifics about the arson that no one but the arsonist and the investigators could have known. Then detectives traced three $200 deposits made to Chavez’s bank account by Chester.
During the stalking incidents, the victim reported being followed by Chester as she drove down Main Street. In more than one instance, he reversed directions in order to keep her within his sight. She also observed him parked in the street, watching her with a pair of binoculars. When he was stopped by patrol officers, they found firearms inside his vehicle.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Murphy complimented the Roswell police for their handling of the stalking cases and the arson that followed. He said the Roswell Police Department instructed the victim to provide proof of the incidents by getting photographs. The affidavit that accompanied the stalking incidents said he complained to the police that she “liked taking pictures of him” and he didn’t see any reason why he could not eat at Burger King and then change his mind and go to McDonalds instead.
Chester remains at CCDC on the new charges with a $100,000 cash-only bond. According to Murphy, if Chester is convicted of the arson and retaliation charges, he could face up to 19 years in prison.
Chavez, too, is still being held at CCDC on a $50,000 cash or surety bond. Meanwhile, Serventez, 29, has yet to be apprehended on the new charges of conspiracy to commit arson. She remains at large on the previous charges of failure to appear as a result of arrests for trafficking methamphetamines. She is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall, with brown eyes.
Anyone who has information on Servantez is asked to contact Crime Stoppers, 888-594-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward.