Friday, May 23, 2008

No Country for Old Men

Poor Vernon Holland, 69, of Summers. He was standing on the front porch of his home on Highway 62 one morning in April 2007, when Patricia Hampton of Prairie Grove called police at 7:34 a.m., and Vern was arrested for indecent exposure.

Ms Hampton has had her eye on Vern for quite some time. According to one news report, she said she's lost count of the times she's seen Holland naked outside his home. She's seen Holland in various stages of dress before but said she quit calling the police when he was outside wearing women's lingerie.

Two sheriff ’s deputies testified that the only way a person could see the porch was by looking through a gate in front of the house. Ms Hampton insisted that she could see Mr. Holland over the fence and around the shrub in front of the porch, because a red porch light makes it easier to see him.

Vern testified that it was too cold that day to have been outside naked on his porch, and he said he was not fondling himself but was on the telephone. A jury found Vern guilty of indecent exposure, and Judge William Storey sentenced him to six months in jail and fined him $1,000.

That's a stiff sentence, compared to what State Trooper Larry Norman got for shooting and killing Erin Hamley, an innocent unarmed young man with mental disability. Trooper Norman was sentenced to 90 days but served only 54 days. Ole Vern is looking at 180 days of hard time in the Washington County Detention Center.

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