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Sewage standoff lands offender in jail

The owner of a rental trailer in the Cruso community of Haywood County will be locked up until he complies with a court order to stop spilling raw sewage onto the ground.


Denver Blaylock, who owns a mobile home with a faulty septic system, has been warned several times by county environmental health officers over the past year to either fix the septic tank or evacuate his renters from the trailer.

“We asked him if was willing to remove the tenants and he said no he was not,” Steve Valentine, the county environmental health director, testified in court this week.

When Blaylock refused to budge in the sewage saga, the county filed a lawsuit in hopes of compelling action.

“We tried to do it voluntarily and couldn’t get it done so we had to go to the courts to force compliance,” said Haywood County Attorney Chip Killian.

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A court order was entered in February commanding Blaylock to fix the issue, but still to no avail. Despite the court order, the trailer continues to be occupied by renters, and raw sewage is still spilling on to the ground, according to Valentine.

Valentine said he visited the trailer as recently as last week and witnessed people living in the trailer, including children. Blaylock has not applied for a permit to repair the faulty septic system, further signaling his lack of intention to fix the problem, Valentine said.

Superior Court Judge Bill Coward ordered that Blaylock be locked up immediately and not let out until the issue is rectified.

“The defendant has means to comply but has willfully defied to comply with the terms,” Coward said in court. “The court therefore orders he be incarcerated until such time he complies with the judgment.”

Blaylock did not attend the court hearing.

The order was still being drafted as of press time Tuesday. Law enforcement will act on the order once it is filed and signed by Coward sometime this week.

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