James L. Dingwall III: Collier jury says stalker should pay $4.8 million to Naples woman

EAST NAPLES — An East Naples woman who was stalked and harassed for more than seven years has won a $4.8 million verdict against her 72-year-old stalker, a former family friend who vowed not to stop unless police killed him.

A Collier circuit court jury found Shaliece Delight Hall, 32, had been harassed and stalked by James L. Dingwall III and decided he should pay her $1.2 million in compensatory damages and $3.6 million in punitive damages, which are meant to punish, deter and set an example.

Dingwall, who didn't show up for the Aug. 31 trial, lives in Michigan and couldn't be reached for comment Monday by phone or email. Hall, a high school volleyball coach and former Baptist schoolteacher, also couldn't be reached.

Hall's attorney, Mark Steinberg of Naples, who presented three witnesses at trial, including Hall, said Dingwall has finally stopped harassing and stalking her.

"Terror and humiliation eventually led (Hall) to bring a private lawsuit against her former family friend," Steinberg said of Dingwall, her now-deceased father's best friend. "Even after courts had issued multiple restraining orders and he was convicted of criminal stalking, Dingwall accosted (Hall) as she jogged and attempted to force her into his car."

It's uncertain whether Dingwall has the money to pay up; he travels in an RV and owns a Michigan condo. However, he once set up a bank account in Hall's name so she could use his money and Hall told a judge he had the means to hire a hit man.

Dingwall's Linked-In account lists him as a semiretired financial consultant.

Dingwall, who was arrested in 2008, pleaded no contest in August 2010 to a misdemeanor stalking and cyberstalking charge as part of a plea deal that dropped a battery offense. He was sentenced to probation, ordered to stay away from Hall and to undergo anger management and mental health counseling.

Records show Hall received repeated emails, calls, texts, and unwanted porn and ads sent by Dingwall, who showed up at schools she taught at, her friends' homes, her church and other places. Emails show Dingwall, who is 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds, begged for sex, and threatened her life.

"I would just like to die with a smile on my face after having sex with you …" Dingwall wrote in one email, contending he was dying and she was to blame.

He offered her money for sex, threatened violence if she refused, set up a bank account in her name and claimed to have a credit card in her name. Hall, who obtained a restraining order against him, repeatedly asked him to leave her alone or she'd call police.

He said he didn't fear police, telling her: "My payback is brutal."

Court records provide this account:

While growing up, Hall knew him as "Uncle Jim," but he returned to her life after her father died in 2005. He claimed to want to help her through her grief, but became obsessed and rented a Naples home to be near her.

"James Dingwall is an extremely bizarre, unchecked, violent and abusive person," she wrote in a petition seeking an order of protection.

"He is deeply obsessed with me and has said that he has believed he would marry (me) since I was 11 years old," she wrote, noting she always rejected him. At one point, when she was at a Starbucks, he walked in, wearing a CD around his neck, telling patrons it had naked photos of her.

In his motion to add punitive damages, Hall's attorney said she didn't feel safe, can't live or work in certain areas, her lifestyle and ability to work were restricted, and Dingwall has caused anxiety and migraines.

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