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Home In The News Michelle Hadley - What Happened and How Our Firm Helped Save Her

Michelle Hadley - What Happened and How Our Firm Helped Save Her

It all started in 2013. Michelle Hadley, an ambitious, bright-eyed go-getter, met a man by the name of Ian Diaz. The two hit it off, and started dating. While on a trip to New York in December 2014, for Michelle’s 28th birthday, Ian asked Michelle for her hand in marriage. She said yes.

While the couple was planning their journey together into the bonds of matrimony, they decided to enter into the bonds of home ownership as well. After finding the perfect starter home at a new condominium development in Anaheim, CA, Michelle and Ian purchased the condo and started down a path that would change their relationship forever. It turned out not to be a pleasant path though. Just two months after purchasing the condo together, Michelle and Ian broke up in August of 2015.

The Beginning of Michelle’s Nightmare

The break up was messy, and co-owning the condo together only made matters worse. The following month, in September 2015 the couple ended its financial contract together. In November of that same year, it was agreed that Ian would be allowed to stay in the condo, but that he had six months to obtain his own mortgage (as the existing mortgage was in both his and Michelle’s names).

At this point, Michelle’s ties to Ian were minimal and mapped out according to the mortgage agreement their lawyers had brokered between them. This whole experience seemed like it would simply be a footnote in Michelle’s young adult life, and that she would move on bigger and better things. Or, at least that’s what she thought.

In February of 2016, Ian Diaz married another woman by the name of Angela Connell, a mere one month after meeting her online. Angela moved into Ian’s condo. In May of 2016, Angela Connell, now Angela Diaz, announced she was pregnant and expecting twins. Within two months of that announcement, on June 1, 2016, a police report was filed with the Anaheim Police Department. The report stated that Michelle Hadley, who had no relation whatsoever to Angela Diaz, had sent Diaz threatening emails.

Catfishing via Craigslist

Throughout June of 2016, Diaz furnished the police department with email after email, all supposedly from Michelle. The content of these emails was graphic and made violent threats against Angela’s well-being. On top of that, Angela claimed that Michelle had impersonated her on Craigslist, and did so while posting ads where she asked men to visit the condo and indulge her in violent rape fantasies. On June 24, 2016, after multiple reports made by Angela in which she claimed men had arrived at her home to rape her, Michelle Hadley was arrested.

The very next day, Michelle Hadley was released on bail. At that point, Angela began making claims again that Michelle was sending her more threatening emails. After responding to a 911 call on July 13, 2016 during which a 17-year-old male was found attempting to respond to the “rape fantasy” Craigslist ad, Michelle Hadley was arrested the next day and charged with staking, attempted rape, and parole violation, to name just a few of the charges. Her bail was set at $1 million, and she now faced life in prison.

On August 19, 2016, Michelle Hadley’s father, unsatisfied with the lawyer she had previously hired to clear her name, searched online for a lawyer who would be able to actually clear her name and set her free from this nightmare. He comes across this website, recognizes Michael Guisti’s caring nature and extensive track record of success, and contacts this law office. Attorney Guisti agrees to take over the case.

Justice Finally Begins to Prevail

Over the next few months, evidence is uncovered showing that the threatening emails Michelle had supposedly been sending had actually originated from the condo where Ian and Angela Diaz were residing, the very condo that Michelle had previously owned with her former fiancé Ian Diaz. In addition, some emails had even originated from Angela’s father’s home in Arizona. Evidence also surfaced that Angela Diaz had a checkered past that apparently involved check forgery, impersonating an attorney, forging doctor’s notes, and faking her pregnancy and cervical cancer.

On October 4, 2016, Attorney Michael Guisti spent an entire day in jail with Michelle. He presented evidence to members of the Orange County District Attorney’s office, investigators, and the two arresting officers. Three days later, after presenting overwhelming evidence that she was in fact innocent as she claimed to be, Michelle Hadley was released from jail after spending nearly three months incarcerated.

Micheal Guisti Comments on Charges Being Dropped in Michelle Hadley Craigslist Case

Her Nightmare Was Finally Over

While Michelle had been released from jail, her name and reputation were forever altered. In December of 2016, Michael Guisti served written notice to the City of Anaheim that he was filing suit against the city on behalf of his client, Michelle Hadley. Less than three weeks later, the Orange County D.A.’s office held a press conference in which it announced multiple felony charges now being filed against Angela Diaz, and the complete exoneration of Michelle Hadley. The D.A. referred to the case as “diabolical,” while Michelle called it “the most traumatic experience of [her] life.”

“I can think of no person who deserves a better review than Mr. Michael Guisti. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say he rescued me. He doesn't know it yet, but I'm adopting him as my godfather. And he is The Godfather of attorneys. He believed I was innocent when it felt like only my close friends and family did, and he fought for justice for me, Guisti-style. I trust him like he's family!”
-Michelle Hadley

If not for the perseverance and constant belief that Michelle was innocent, Attorney Guisti would not have been able to clear her of all charges. Michelle would not have been able to tell her story to Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today, or discussed the specifics of the case on Dateline NBC.

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

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Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.