Woman claims houseguests stole her home, kicked her out
APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Dozens of people showed up to court today in Apache Junction, signs in hand, in support of 72-year-old Virginia Kelley.
"It was very scary to have someone tell you they're going to steal your home and you had nothing to do with it, they could do it," said Kelley.
In August, Kelley let a couple and their two kids move in to her home because they had no where else to go and she felt bad.
In November, Kelley tried to kick them out after she says the two became violent with her and each other. They also started stealing her things.
"Even my wedding ring was stolen. I don't have anything hardly left of my mother's, things that she left. Things went out, hidden, thrown in the garbage," said Kelley.
The couple refused to leave and even file an injunction with the court saying Kelley was harassing them. The judge granted that injunction, meaning Kelley has to get out of her own home.
Kelley's attorney, Brian Locker, said any time harassment or domestic violence is concerned, judges typically air on the side of caution.
"It's good intent, 'hey we want to protect people that are being harassed and potentially victimized, but in this case, you can see that it has negative connotations as well because people can come in, lie and have elderly people who are innocent kicked out of their own homes," said Locker.
Kelley and Locker asked a judge to dismiss the injunction, which he did because the plaintiff, Ashley Buchannan, the woman living with Kelley, didn't show up.
"I'm not a quitter. A lot of people think because we're old, we're going to give in and just run. And I think that was the idea. If we scare her enough that she'll just run away and leave us that house," said Kelley.
The house is completely destroyed, so the community set up a GoFundMe to help Kelley.