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Great-grandma Betty pleads innocent to resisting arrest over dead grass

Published September 18, 2007 11:49 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 11:51 AM- OREM - Betty Perry pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges she failed to water her lawn and resisted arrest when an officer attempted to cite her.

Perry appeared in 4th District Court in Orem to enter her plea in a case prominent Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred described as a gross injustice.

"Today, law enforcement in Orem has enshrined itself as the laughing stock of our country by prosecuting a 70-year-old great-grandmother for allegedly not watering her lawn," Allred said. "This ill-conceived action ensures Orem's law enforcement authorities first place in the [Guinness World Records] for stupidity."

Perry's next appearance will be on Oct. 11 for a pre-trial conference.

In July, Perry was cited by Officer James Flygare of the police's Neighborhood Preservation Unit for failing to water her lawn. Perry refused to give her name to the officer and, when Flygare tried to stop her from going back inside her house, she reportedly tripped and injured her nose.

She was arrested and taken to police station but released shortly afterwards.

An investigation by the state Department of Public Safety cleared Flygare of any wrongdoing, and city officials pressed charges against Perry on the landscape violation, a class C misdemeanor, and interfering with a police officer, a class B misdemeanor.

Allred, a high-profile Los Angeles attorney who has represented the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson's murdered wife, said she was there to provide support for Perry, whose criminal defense is being handled by M. Paige Benjamin, a Provo attorney.

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