CLOVER — - A judge ruled Friday afternoon that Johnny Ramsey, the disabled 79-year-old Korean War veteran who fought the Town of Clover over keeping junk on his property to sell, will not have to go back to jail.
Clover Town Judge Melvin Howell suspended the 30-day jail sentence to be served on weekends that was imposed Oct. 4, said Toni Johnson, Ramseys lawyer. The change came after Ramsey cleaned up some of his yard this week after his time in jail.
During three days in jail last weekend, Ramsey was York Countys oldest inmate. His long battle against the town has attracted support from people locally and around the nation. Others have taken the side of the town, but the more vocal and outspoken have sided with Ramsey as seeing the towns enforcement against an old man as far too strong-armed.
Im just happy I dont have to go to jail and Im going to work all weekend doing more, Ramsey said. I dont want to go back to jail. Ill work on cleaning this place up. Im an honest man.
Ramsey admitted to the town and in court that he kept the junk as he fought to try and make a living on his property and pay the bills for himself and his disabled wife.
He fought Clovers town law on property maintenance , refusing to clean up even after Howell found Ramsey in contempt of court. On Oct. 4 Howell jailed Ramsey, who lives on $898 a month Social Security and veterans benefits, for failing to comply with a court order.
Ramsey must continue to clean up or the jail sentence will be re-instated, said Johnson.
I will check on him each week and make sure he is doing what he says he will do, so that hopefully, Mr. Ramsey will not have to go back to jail, Johnson said. He has to keep his end of the deal, though.
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