Art Under Fire In Wilson County
Posted September 24, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
WILSON COUNTY — Vollis Simpson is one of Wilson County's most well-known artists, and his upcoming trial for shooting at several trespassing teens has property owners drawing new lines.
For years, people have stopped by to gaze at Vollis Simpson's giant handiwork in western Wilson County.
But the 79-year old retired veteran's fame has also generated some fury. In recent years, he says, vandals have done significant damage to his artwork and his property.
Simpson says that's why he shot at two teens he believed were trespassing on his property last June.
Simpson's supporters say it's unfair for him to be charged in the shooting. But the teens from Garner are pressing charges, though they were not seriously hurt.
The teens say Simpson must have seen someone else on his property, because they had just arrived to admire his work, and were still in the car when he fired off the birdshot.
Simpson's probable cause hearing was originally scheduled for Friday, but has been delayed until October.
His friends and neighbors appeared at the courthouse anyway, to show their support.