Good Fences, Bad Neighbors

John F. Ames, a Virginia man, and his insurance company paid $100,000 to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit after Ames shot and killed a neighbor in a property line feud. (The insurer paid, probably, because a jury in Ames’ criminal trial found that he acted in self-defense). Fueling the dispute was a $45,000 lien Ames had filed in 1989 on the neighbor’s property after Ames built a fence around his 670-acre farm, and under an old state law, billed his neighbors half the cost. The lien wasn’t taken care of in the settlement and the dispute over it continues.

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