Sand Springs Residents Settle Trespass And Destruction Of Keystone Lake Public Property Claims
TULSA, Okla.—Danny C. Williams Sr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Robin Beaty and David Hester have paid $20,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations of trespass and destruction of public property. The Hesters own residential property on Keystone Lake adjacent to property owned by the United States and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
According to the allegations, from July 10, 2013 to April 9, 2015, despite repeated cessation requests from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Hesters placed dirt and debris from the construction of their home on government property, stored heavy construction equipment owned by Mr. Hester’s company, HLH Realty Co., on government property and removed government boundary markers. Additionally, the United States alleged that the Hesters operated heavy equipment on government property which destroyed ground cover and left gouges on the land caused by the tracks of the equipment.
For wrongful injuries to timber upon the land of another, or removal thereof, Oklahoma law provides for not less than three times, nor more than ten times actual damages, plus costs and attorney’s fees. Oklahoma law also provides that the detriment caused by the wrongful occupation of real property is deemed to be the value of the use of the property for the time of such occupation and the costs of recovering the possession.
The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Marianne Hardcastle and Assistant District Counsel for the Army Corps of Engineers, Alexandria Tramel and Jason Chester.