Landlord, 80, accused of threatening tennant with gun gets probation

Staff report


The man whose landlord, Vonda Duffy, 80, came into his Bazetta Township home holding a gun and threatening him Aug. 5 asked that Duffy not get jail time because of her age.

As a result, prosecutors allowed Duffy to plead no contest to misdemeanor aggravated menacing Thursday in Eastern District Court and she was sentenced to probation.

Gabe Wildman, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said Duffy will have to undergo a mental-health evaluation and meet other requirements.

Duffy, of Durst Clagg Road, initially was charged with aggravated burglary after she admitted to police she went to her renter’s trailer next door to her home Aug. 5 with a gun and told him to “get out.”

She acknowledged she told the renter, “I’d like to shoot you,” police said. The renter alleged she came “bursting into his home, pointing a gun at him and then threatened to kill him,” a police report says. He said he pushed Duffy back outside.

She told an officer she didn’t think it was a crime because the home belongs to her, but the officer explained the property is also his until he leaves.

She said she confronted the renter because there were issues with his rent, he was damaging the home and she had issued him an eviction notice. The notice, however, did not require him to leave until Aug. 14, Bazetta police said.

The renter has since moved out, Wildman said.

If Duffy would have been convicted of aggravated burglary, she could have gotten up to 11 years in prison.

Judge Thomas Campbell of Central District Court in Cortland recused himself from the case because of earlier matters involving Duffy, so it was assigned to Eastern District Court Judge Judge Rob Platt.

Duffy has either been the plaintiff or defendant in 16 civil or small-claims cases in Central District Court since 1995, most of them filed by Duffy against renters.

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