OW and his neighbors, the Smiths, had been feuding for 5 years. It started when OW began working on his house – a 3-family home in a densely packed neighborhood. OW performed almost all of the work himself, sometimes with the help of his son.
The Smiths became angry over the unsightly machinery and debris that was strewn about his lawn. Rather than approach him to ask that he be more tidy, the Smiths began reporting OW to the police and the city building department.
OW was visited many times by city building inspectors, and two or three times by the police. The first visit by the building inspectors revealed that OW had not obtained all necessary permits; so, he went about securing them. After obtaining said permits, he resumed the work. The Smiths, however, continued to report him to the authorities. (It’s worth noting that the Smiths did not confine their complaints to OW, they reported several other neighbors).
The fights between the neighbors became particularly nasty when, upon completion of the construction, OW rented out two of the building units. The Smiths were very upset that the tenants kept unusual hours and “appeared suspicious.” The Smiths and OW had a yelling match one day regarding this issue.
Two days later the Smiths discovered that their cars had been “keyed.” That is to say, someone had deliberately scratched their cars with a key. Two neighbors (sympathetic to the Smiths) told the police that they had seen OW do it. OW was charged with two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property. He hired Attorney Henry Fasoldt.
Henry set about investigating, he sent his investigator to interview the neighbors and the Smiths. As expected, most of the neighbors said that OW and the Smiths were constantly fighting and that they weren’t surprised that the Smiths’ cars were keyed and that it was probably deserved. From an evidentiary standpoint this, of course, was not helpful. Nevertheless, it did produce some letters of support for OW.
After gathering this information and providing it to the prosecutor, the Commonwealth agreed to place OW on pretrial probation and require that he pay the damage done to the vehicles.