Police say man broke into county home, set up camp in yard

Published 6:26 pm Monday, April 24, 2017

A man faces multiple charges after police say he broke into a vacant home and then set up camp on the property over the weekend.

Officers of the Carter County Sheriff’s Office arrested Don Ayers, 41, with no known address, on Saturday morning and charged him with burglary, criminal impersonation, and being a fugitive from justice out of the state of Pennsylvania.

According to reports, deputies responded to a home on Highway 321 in the Hampton community shortly after 8 a.m. on Saturday after 911 received a call regarding a break-in at the home.

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When officers arrived, they spoke with the home’s owners, who said they were in the process of renovating the house to rent it out in the future. CCSO Deputy Cody James said he also spoke with a male subject in the backyard standing by a tent. James said the man identified himself as Don L. Ayers, but was later positively identified as Don Howard Ayers.

“Mr. Ayers stated that he got to the house last night around 6:30 p.m.,” James said. “He also stated that he didn’t think anybody lived there.”

Ayers told the deputy a female subject had been with him, and he gave officers her name. The female was not at the residence when he got there, but James said one of the homeowners told him she had left on foot before officers arrived.

“Mr. Ayers stated that he and (the female) forced their way into the house after checking to see if anybody was home so they could get blankets, pillows, and chairs to use out by their tent,” James said.

James arrested Ayers and charged him with burglary and criminal impersonation.

After arriving at the Carter County Detention Center, officers learned that Ayers is wanted out of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on a warrant charging him with violation of parole. Officers then charged Ayers with being a fugitive from justice.

Ayers appeared in Carter County General Sessions Court for arraignment Monday morning. Judge Keith Bowers Jr. appointed the Public Defender’s Office to represent Ayers.

Ayers waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charges of criminal impersonation and burglary, and that case was bound over to the Grand Jury. Bowers reduced Ayers’ bond to $2,500 in that case and scheduled him to make his first appearance in Carter County Criminal Court on July 31.

Ayers waived his right to an extradition hearing in the fugitive from justice charge so once he is released from custody in Carter County authorities in Pennsylvania can pick him up and transport him back to their jurisdiction.