Karen Holloway of Lenoir City, Tennessee Jailed for Messy Lawn

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Karen Holloway is a busy woman; a worker, a wife and mother of two. When she fell behind on yard work earlier this summer, she was given a citation by the officials of Lenoir City, Tennessee. Though Holloway admitted her yard was overgrown, she was stunned when she was sentenced to jail time for not maintaining her property. 

According to Local 8, Holloway turned herself into jail Tuesday evening after Judge Terry Vann sentenced her to five days in prison for her unkempt lawn. Judge Vann refused to let Holloway do community service instead of serving time but, during a last minute appeal, he reduced Holloway’s sentence to six hours in jail.

"It's not right," she said. "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 also said she was never read her rights and denied a lawyer. 

(via Local 8)

Holloway was concerned about the precedent her sentence could set. “This opens a floodgate to everybody in Lenoir City being put in jail for silly things," she said. Police Chief Don White, who oversees code enforcement in Lenoir City, did not immediately return calls from local reporters. 

Holloway’s story doesn’t end with her stint in jail. Judge Vann has reportedly ordered another hearing in November to check on the property and suggested he’d add more jail time if city officials were unsatisfied by Holloway’s lawn.

Judge Vann, who could not be reached for comment, has admitted that this isn’t a criminal case. Still, Holloway feels “bullied” by local officials. Holloway has been repeatedly cited by code enforcers for the condition of her lawn in the past. She claims the yard work had fallen by the wayside before due to personal issues and her husband’s military service overseas.

"With my husband going to school and working full time, me with my job, with one vehicle, we were trying our best," she said.

Sources: Local 8, The Week