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Woman takes plea deal in neglected lawn case

/ Source: The Associated Press

When 70-year-old Betty Perry was accused of neglecting her lawn, she became defiant.

Perry was arrested, handcuffed and briefly jailed in July for declining a ticket for failing to water her lawn.

She agreed on Friday to resolve her case by pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and paying a $100 fine. She also faces six months of probation.

Perry was scheduled to go to trial Monday on a more serious charge of resisting arrest for refusing to give her name, accept a citation or allow herself to be handcuffed on her front steps.

"She ends up with a sentence that is very minimal and shouldn't intrude terribly on her day-to-day life," prosecutor Andrew Peterson said. "For our part, it accomplishes what we set out to accomplish from the very beginning."

Peterson said he was planning to drop the lawn neglect charge anyway because Perry has started taking care of her lawn. But it was important for the city to get a conviction for Perry's "dangerous and violent" actions following an officer's attempt to cite her, he said.

During a struggle with officer Jim Flygare, Perry fell, injured her nose, rolled onto her stomach and put her hands under her to foil a handcuffing.

Her lawyers didn't return phone or e-mail messages Friday from The Associated Press.