CLOVER A Korean War veteran who was sentenced to 30 days in jail for refusing to remove junk on his property won’t be returning to jail this weekend.
Johnny Ramsey, 79, was originally set to serve the jail time on weekends. But Clover Town Judge Melvin Howell agreed Friday to suspend the sentence after Ramsey cleaned up some of his yard this week, said Toni Johnson, Ramsey’s attorney.
Ramsey’s long battle against the town has attracted support from people locally and around the nation, with some seeing the town’s enforcement against an old man as far too strong-armed. But some have taken the side of the town.
“I’m just happy I don’t have to go to jail,” Ramsey said Friday. “ I’ll work on cleaning this place up. I’m 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 lives on $898 a month Social Security and veterans benefits.
Clover has a town law on property maintenance. But Ramsey refused to clean up, even after being found in contempt of court. On Oct. 4, Howell jailed Ramsey for failing to comply with a court order.
On Friday, Johnson said Ramsey must continue to clean up or the jail sentence will be reinstated.
“I will check on him each week and make sure he is doing what he says he will do,” Johnson said. “He has to keep his end of the deal, though.”