War vet waging a final battle
MONTICELLO (KATV) -
A Drew county war veteran says the land that his family has called home for nearly a century is no longer in his name.
Wiley Ballow was awarded a purple heart for the bravery he displayed fighting the Japanese on Okinawa.
He believes he has one more fight in him...and it's a battle for his land.
The 91 year-old crosses Old Warren Road after getting his mail.
He's still moving a bit slow...recovering from a serious automobile accident six months ago that landed him at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.
While there he was visited by his neighbor across the street...Jack Bennett.
"Do you think he took advantage of you?"
“Well I know damn good and well he did,” says Ballow. “He spent a day there at the hospital with me with a lawyer interviewing me. And he said we've got these papers here to sign."
Before Bennett left he had Ballow's signature on a document...a document that deeded Ballow's 49 acres of land to him for one dollar.
"I didn't know exactly what I was signing," says Ballow.
"Would you have sold your land for $1.00 to Jack Bennett?"
"Well of course not," says Ballow.
"Why do you think he wanted your land?"
"Well he's always wanted this land," says Ballow.
Ballow's 49 acres of hardwood sits directly across the road from Bennett's home.
The property is worth as much at $200,000.00 according to Ballow's Monticello attorney Hani Hashem...who is suing Bennett to get the land back.
"Mr. Bennett is a thief,” claims Ballow. “That's all he is. He's a thief."
We left notes for Jack Bennett at both his home and workplace but have not heard from him.
He is being represented by Monticello attorney Cliff Gibson.
The person who Mr. Ballow remembers being with Bennett in his hospital room was Jenny Denise Chambers Lemoine.
She used to work for Cliff Gibson. When we visited her at her Alexander home Ms. Lemoine had no comment.
Air date: June 19th, 2018