Local News

Orange County Promises To Clear Junkman's Clutter

Posted January 5, 2005 9:49 a.m. EST

— For years, WRAL has followed the case of Hoyle King.

Neighbors complain that King's yard, located west of Hillsborough along Highway 70, is an eyesore. His property is littered with rusty cars, trucks, trailers and tires.

Previously, the court had ordered King to build a fence, which he finally did.

"It's not legal. It's two feet short. It's supposed to be eight feet and he put up six feet," neighbor Alvin Oakley said. "It's terrible. I have to look at it every day when I go to my mailbox or go out the front door."

King's court case has continued longer than any other in Orange County history. For more than 10 years, judges have fretted over what to do.

One judge even put King in jail for contempt of court when he failed to finish the fence in time.

"When you get as old as I am, you can't only do but so much and help is so hard to get," King said last year.

"He doesn't argue with them. He just grins at them and says I'll do it and never does it -- clean up," Oakley said.

Last year, the court gave the case to Orange County, which is more eager to clean the clutter.

It will not be an easy job. There is so much to move and many of King's old cars have potentially hazardous fluids in them.

Planning and Inspections Director Craig Benedict said the county will initially be paying the cost of the cleanup that could easily cost thousands of dollars.

"We're going to try to make it work this year," he said.

In the past, neighbors like Susan Scott said they have heard it all before.

"He's made a laughing stock out of the whole county, the justice system and everyone else around. He's sitting back laughing while we're looking like dummies," Scott said in a previous interview.

The county still needs to find someone to help with the clean up. Leaders hope to recoup some of the cost by selling the scrap metal.

King was not home Tuesday. His wife said he was at a big sale somewhere and wanted to pick up a few things.