Fall River "slum-lord" in court - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Fall River "slum-lord" in court

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

FALL RIVER - Landlord David Colville stayed silent as he left the Fall River District Courthouse this morning. His former tenants, did not.

"He's a scumlord," said Tara Ponte, who used to live in one of Colville's buildings.

Several Fall River buildings owned by Colville have been condemned by the city for unlivable conditions like raw sewage, leaking carbon monoxide, blocked exits, and non–working smoke detectors.

His case was heard for the first time today.

Colville is facing child endangerment charges for letting tenants as young as 7 months old live in horrible conditions. There are 13 counts... one for each kid living in his apartments.

"He deserves it for not taking care of his property... there was lead in the apartment and I had a son... I asked him if he could fix it, I have a son underage, and he said 'if you don't like it you can move,'" said Ponte.

Colville's lawyer argues that he didn't know about the issues, and isn't responsible.

"If you as a dad don't screw in a light bulb in your basement are you endangering your children who happen to live in your house? Leaving kitchen knives on the table?" asked Ken Fredette.

"He should have known the conditions of his property, he should be responsible for his properties," argued Liz Sousa, Corporation Council for Fall River.

"I didn't feel comfortable in my own home," said Ponte.

A decision on the criminal charges is expected by either tomorrow or Friday.

Colville is also in a financial battle with the city of Fall River.

He owes half million dollars in un–paid property taxes.

(c) WLNE-TV 2013

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