Tennessee Woman Jailed for Messy Yard
Karen Holloway gets 6 hours behind bars for ignoring citations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2014 2:31 AM CDT
A Tennessee woman spent six hours in jail for her messy yard.   (http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-6571543/stock-photo-rusty-old-lawnmower-appears-to-have-been-left-in-the-uncut-tall-grass.html?src=py38pTjg6nG-GBAUjyjtRQ-1-6)

(Newser) – Kids who won't do yardwork might get detention; a Lenoir City, Tenn., woman got jail time instead. After Karen Holloway ignored multiple citations for code violations, including multiple bushes, she was sentenced to five days in jail. A judge reduced that to six hours, which she served on Tuesday, but refused her request to do community service instead of jail time. "It's not right," she tells WVLT. "Why would you put me in jail with child molesters, and people who've done real crimes, because I haven't maintained my yard." Holloway, who has two children at home, says family problems have prevented her from dealing with the home with the messy yard, which the family bought in 2000 to renovate but doesn't live in.

City officials, however, say it was time to send a message after years of citations. "This has been going on for 12 or 13 years," the city's public safety director tells WBIR, explaining that while the city wants to keep itself looking clean and attractive, there are also safety issues involved. Children often sneak into overgrown properties and it presents a major safety hazard "if there's rotted floors and the house hasn't been maintained and there's leaking roofs and electrical problems and if the house is so overgrown someone breaks a window and no one knows," he says. The judge scheduled a follow-up hearing for next month and warned that Holloway could face more jail time if no progress is made.