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Trashed Hammond Road house finally torn down

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Homeowner defied orders for more than year

By Ben Carlson

A demolition crew began razing a home Monday on Hammond Road just two weeks before its owner was to go on trial for refusing to tear it down.
The owner, Steve Gay, was to stand trial Sept. 12 in Anderson District Court.
The saga over the crumbling home dates back more than year. Gay was originally given 10 days to tear down the home when it was declared unsafe by the county fire chief.
It wasn’t.
Gay was then cited and ordered to appear in District Court, where a judge gave him until July 5 to tear it down.
That deadline passed and the home still stood.
Gay was put on notice last July 29 that the house had to come down after the fire chief inspected it and neighbors complained it was filled with rodents and had become a health hazard.
That constituted a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250 per day or 90 days in jail. Each day since constitutes an additional misdemeanor charge meaning, in theory, that Gay has piled up roughly 340 additional misdemeanors by not complying with the orders. The jail time for a misdemeanor typically does not accumulate over time, and he would likely receive a total of 90 days in jail, if sentenced.
The fines, however, can accumulate and if imposed, would result in nearly $90,000 in penalties.