Recently, a man went on trial in Tarrant County for trying to squat a vacant home. The home was worth approximately $405,000 and had been previously owned by a Texas Rangers baseball player.
He had taken advantage of an obscure law on the books, filed a $16 form; and then simply moved into the residence.
The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to 10 years probation and a $10,000 fine. In addition, the man was believed to have stolen about $250,000 worth of personal belongings from the residence. He could have gotten up to life in prison.
Bad enough you say? Just wait, because the truly appalling part of this story is yet to come.
A local television network has a voice mail forum where viewers can call in and express their opinions. This past Saturday, two viewers called in and spoke in his defense. One stated that the man was “cleaning up” the property. The other simply stated, “after all, the man (owner) had moved out.”
Moved out? In reality, the family was in Houston seeking treatment for the wife who has cancer. Regardless, even if the family had moved out, the house still didn’t belong to the guy who was trying to squat it!
You could tell by the tone of voices used by the callers that they were completely serious. Their words were thoughtfully formed and slowly spoken. They honestly felt like the man had done nothing wrong.
I fear for our nation.