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Property in Davie County declared a public nuisance, ordered vacated and sold. 80-year-old owner taken advantage of, says attorney.
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Property in Davie County declared a public nuisance, ordered vacated and sold. 80-year-old owner taken advantage of, says attorney.

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Judge Mark Klass of Davie Superior Court has declared a property in Coolemee as a public nuisance and ordered it forfeited and sold, court documents show.

Klass took the action on Monday against 212 Edgewood Circle after Davie County filed a nuisance-abatement complaint Feb. 24 against the defendants and the property owners, Donald Tyrone Smith, and his ex-wife, Carolyn Ann Privette Smith.

Under Klass' order, the property also must be vacated until it is sold.

State law allows local governments to file lawsuits against property owners and present evidence in court that their properties pose a public safety risk.

The property has been the site of Illegal drug use and sales, fights, assaults, prostitution and loud and profane language, according to court documents.

The property constitutes "a general nuisance, and in the interest of public morals and the health and safety of the community, and in the interest of public decency, should be condemned and abated …," Ed Vogler, the Davie County attorney, wrote in the complaint. 

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The lawsuit described the property as "indecent, disgraceful and intolerable" for nearby residents.

Vogler declined to comment further about the case.

Spencer Newsome of Mocksville, the attorney representing Donald Smith, said his client has reviewed Klass' order. Smith is now staying with his daughter, Tonda Souther of Mocksville.

"This is an 80-year-old gentleman who has been taken advantage of by individuals who came to his property," Newsome said. "He tried to tell them to leave, but they would not leave."

Edwin Pressly of Statesville, the attorney who represents Carolyn Smith, declined to comment.

In an affidavit, Sheriff J.D. Hartman of Davie County said that people who visited the property engaged in illegal drug use and sales.

"Citizens often complain about people who frequent the property trespassing and loitering in neighbors' yards all hours of the night," Hartman's affidavit said. "I believe citizens in this community and in the neighborhood would breathe a sigh of relief if the owner of the property was gone, and if the people who loiter at the property were gone."

In his affidavit, Lt. Wesley Martin of the Davie County Sheriff's Office said that "property is a haven for drug abusers, alcohol abusers, convicted felons, persons who are wanted for outstanding arrest warrants and people involved in other criminal activity."

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@jhintonWSJ

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