CONNEAUT, Ohio — A woman who ignored a municipal order to clean up her yard last fall, then failed to report to jail, was found Tuesday when she accompanied her husband a court hearing.

Tabitha Guy, 40, was immediately taken to jail after court employees recognized her.

In September, Guy was sentenced to 30 days in jail, with 18 days suspended, for failing to properly maintain her yard, a court spokeswoman said. However, she was given a chance to avoid jail by removing the trash and debris in the back yard of her Mill Street home.

A month later, when no improvements had been made to the property, a bench warrant was issued for Guy’s arrest, a court spokeswoman said. Guy avoided detection until Tuesday.

Guy, who rented the house, could be the first Conneaut city resident to serve jail time for a municipal housing violation, officials said.

“We were having a huge issue with debris in the back yard,” said Deanna Gates, Conneaut’s planning/zoning administrator. “And (the yard) was never mowed.”

Gates said she understood Guy opted for jail rather than clean up the mess.

She could find herself back in court if the problem isn’t corrected, Law Director Carly Prather said Thursday. After her release, Guy could be cited again for the same offense if the original order is ignored again, Prather said.

Mark Todd writes for the Star Beacon in Ashtabula, Ohio. 

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