Posted: Nov 12, 2012 3:29 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2012 3:30 PM
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) A North Texas couple accused of "squatting" face up to life in prison if convicted of stealing from a home whose owner was in Houston for cancer treatments.
David Cooper and Jasmine Williams each are charged with property theft over $200,000 and burglary of a habitation. Jury selection started Monday afternoon in Fort Worth.
Last year, Cooper paid $16 to file with the county what is known as an affidavit of adverse possession. The obscure Texas law allows people to claim rights to otherwise unclaimed land after a period of time.
Defense attorney Deborah Goodall told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://bit.ly/Zgq09O) that Cooper intended to live in the $405,000 Arlington home and maintain it.
The Tarrant County district attorney has since ordered the county clerk to stop accepting those affidavits.
Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com