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The Villages
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Villager jailed in feud with neighbor to rely on public defender in court

Janice McKee
Janice McKee

A Villager jailed in a feud with her neighbor will call upon the public defender’s office for her representation in court.

Janice Frances McKee, 78, of the Village of Hacienda East, continues to be held without bond at the Sumter County Detention Center.

She was arrested June 8 after allegedly trimming her neighbor’s tree in what appears to be a long-running dispute. She had been free on $2,000 bond when she was arrested a second time on June 23 when she drove onto her neighbor’s lawn with her golf cart and proceeded to hit her neighbor with a stick, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The second arrest was considered a violation of her bond from the first arrest.

In a financial disclosure form filed in Sumter County Court, McKee indicated she receives about $2,000 per month in Social Security benefits and another $2,000 in retirement/pension benefits. She also owns a 2016 Dodge Caravan and has about $200,000 in outstanding debt/liabilities. She indicated on the form she will require the services of the public defender’s office.

She is due in court on July 26.

McKee, who lives at 1301 Fontana Court, has property that backs up to the residence of 89-year-old William Calabrese at 1302 Corona Ave.

He said he had been sitting in his house at about 7 p.m. June 23 when McKee drove her golf cart into his backyard. He walked out the backdoor and asked McKee to leave. Calabrese’s dog ran out the backdoor and began running circles around McKee’s dog, prompting the Buffalo, N.Y. native to swing a stick at her neighbor’s dog. He told her to stop swinging the stick at his dog and he stepped in between them to try to protect his dog. McKee’s stick struck her neighbor in the shoulder. She got back into her golf cart, drove it onto the roadway and went back inside her house.

As of June 1, McKee has been banned from entering her neighbor’s property.

After she was taken into custody and was being transported to the Sumter County Detention Center, McKee told a deputy, “I am going to get him” and “He is going to pay.” She was released after posting $3,000 bond.

Prior to her first arrest, sheriff’s deputies had responded five times to disputes involving the warring neighbors. Her June 8 arrest came after Calabrese provided deputies with a photo of McKee on his property, next to his tree with “tree loppers and a garbage can.” The tree was 19 feet from the neighbors’ mutual property line.

McKee, who acknowledged she had been warned multiple times to stay off Calabrese’s property, claimed she “needed to cut down the tree in order to have an effective survey completed.” She showed deputies a satellite image of the property but “had drawn a new line on the image with a pen, cutting through his residence and claiming half of his house was hers also.”

She had previously taken the shears to Calabrese’s peach tree in a previous incident, but it was so close to the property line that no arrest was made in that case.

McKee had no previous criminal history.

Calabrese had a deed compliance violation, which was the subject of the hearing earlier this month, involving a landscaping bed next to the driveway and in the road right of way. He has addressed the issue and his property is now back in compliance. Calabrese was also found to have put down landscaping in 2017 without Architectural Review Committee approval. He purchased the home in 2007 for $260,000.

McKee and her husband purchased their home in 2016 for $258,000. He died one year later.

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