Career criminal finally evicted after living rent-free for years - CBS46 News

Career criminal finally evicted after living rent-free for 5 years

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CANTON, GA (CBS46) -

A CBS46 investigation into a career criminal led to her eviction in Cherokee County on Wednesday.

"This is a big step right here for us, big step," neighbor Billy Phillips said.

It has been a long time coming for neighbors at Governor's Preserve in Canton. Authorities evicted Phyllis Peterson from the large home on Talmadge Lane.

"It's just great to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel," Phillips said.

Peterson, a convicted felon, has been living rent free in the home for five years.

"The woman's been arrested over 60 times. It's amazing. If it had been me I would have been out a long time ago," Phillips said.

Court records show Peterson hasn't made a mortgage payment on the home in years. The bank foreclosed three years ago and an investment company bought the home, but Peterson refused to leave until a judge ordered her out.

"We know this has been a troubled spot for this community and for them we're certainly glad that this chapter will be ending. This should be it. Once you're out that's it. She has absolutely no right to the home from this point forward," Lt. Jay Baker said with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.

It's encouraging news for next-door neighbor Tony Sutylo who said Peterson's troubles have made it difficult for him to sell his home.

"We lost one sale just recently because of the rumors and somebody knew her," Sutylo said.

If Peterson tries to move back into the home the sheriff's department said she would be arrested for criminal trespassing.

"This is a great sight, I mean it isn't a great sight, but it's a great sight to see this stuff out of here," Sutylo said.

Peterson was not at home at the time of the eviction, but her troubles are far from over. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department told CBS46 Peterson faces additional criminal charges for fraud.

Peterson's attorney. Marvin Arrington, said she was wrongfully evicted.

Arrington said his courier delivered to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office an order from a judge, delaying Peterson's removal.

Arrington said Peterson's mortgage was transferred from one bank to another and the paperwork subsequently was lost.

A spokesperson with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Officer said the was no order from a judge delaying the eviction and no wrongful eviction.

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