[Hpn] Squatters Or Renters?

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 16 Nov 2004 20:27:24 -0500


Squatters or Renters?

November 16, 2004

By Ken Amaro
First Coast News

CLAY COUNTY, FL -- It is a quiet neighborhood in the rural community of
Middleburg. At the corner of Nolan and Maverick it was peaceful until last
Friday when Clay County deputies swarmed the area.

"When we arrested her, she told us they did it because they were homeless,"
says Lt. A. Dangerfield, of the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Dangerfield says they arrested Sheri Tarrant and her husband Wayne, who
turned himself in on charges of trespassing.

Law enforcement says the two moved into the house last March, after learning
that the property owner was dead.

"They contacted the utility company and had the power turned on and created
a fictitious lease agreement," says Dangerfield.

Dangerfield says his department learned of
what he calls "squatters," after a relative of the deceased man went to the
property and found the Tarrant's living there.

The Tarrant's had turned the property into
a rescue for disabled horses.

Dangerfield says they claim that they were renting from a "John Epson," but
couldn't tell police how to get in touch with that person.

According to the police report there was a nationwide search, and the only
"John Epson" found was in prison in Virginia.

The Tarrant's told law enforcement that they were renters, but failed to
provide sufficient evidence and were arrested.

Wayne Tarrant told First Coast News the arrest was bogus. He says, "We're
not the crooked ones."

But Deputies say this happened before in January with another property
owner. Authorities say that they are convinced that the Tarrant's were out
for a free ride and they found one for nine months.

 2004 First Coast News. All rights reserved. This material may not be
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