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Sikeston man jailed for code violations

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SIKESTON -- A Sikeston man is doing time for thumbing his nose at Sikeston's property maintenance ordinances.

Charles Mancell, who owns a home at 313 A Adams St., according to city records, was sentenced to the jail time by Frank Marshall, Sikeston's municipal judge.

"He gave him 30 days in jail and a $500 fine on June 28," confirmed Mary White-Ross, Sikeston Municipal Court clerk. "He is in jail and I don't think he'll get out until probably the 26th of July."

This was Mancell's 16th offense for "public nuisance violations, which encompasses tall grass, junk and trash, and all that," White-Ross explained.

Marshall declined to offer any comments on Mancell or the case.

"It's been an ongoing problem since 2004. To say that's excessive is an understatement. We don't have anyone else even close to that number," said Trey Hardy, community redevelopment coordinator for the city. "Obviously his property is an eyesore and detrimental to the neighborhood he lived in and apparently still lives in."

White-Ross said by her recollection, Mancell has worked off his fines on the other offenses by completing community service but she does not have a record of the total number of community service hours Mancell has worked.

"I do know he's done some for Public Works and also has done some out at the rodeo grounds," she said.

"I would say his community service hours are probably a large number," Hardy said.

Mayor Mike Marshall and Councilman Mike Bohannon both voiced their approval for Mancell's punishment.

"We hate to have to go to this measure but we want to show we're serious about keeping the town clean," Marshall said.

"It's high time we started cleaning up this town and getting serious about it," Bohannon said. "If you don't do something to keep your property clean then you will suffer the consequences. People are tired of it."

White-Ross said this is the first person jailed for these types of offenses in Sikeston that she knows of.

"It should be an eye opener for some of the other folks," she said. "He was a repeat offender, so that makes a difference, too."