OLATHE, Kan. - A Leawood landlord banned from renting to low-income families is back in custody.
Edy Hinton had been out on bond after a Kansas judge found her unfit to stand trial on felony theft charges. In May, a Johnson county judge ruled Hinton was incompetent to stand trial and should go to Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility for treatment. She was out on bond until the bed space became available at the state hospital.
Despite being found unfit in a Kansas courtroom, Call For Action found Hinton doing legal battle across the state line in Missouri with former tenants just last week.
Cecil and Marsha Garrett are suing Hinton to recoup their $1,660 security deposit and attorney fees for a rental home they say was unlivable. Hinton counter-sued for $29,369 in damages and breach of contract.
"The house was not habitable for us to live in. There were several promises that were made to us about this home that would be done at a decent time which it was not,” said Cecil Garrett.
A Call For Action investigation began into Hinton’s dealings when the Kansas city Housing Authority banned her as a landlord after she overcharged rent to a low income family.
Court records show Hinton has sued nearly 30 people, mainly tenants, in the last ten years.
In recent months, Hinton’s appearance and behavior changed dramatically depending on which courtroom she entered.
In November, following her arrest on theft charges, Hinton appeared in a Kansas court in a wheelchair with a surgical mask covering her mouth. She could be heard spitting into the mask. Her hair hung down over her eyes.
Her Kansas public defender called into question her mental state, saying she is dealing, “with certain psychological mental issues."
But three months later, Call For Action found Hinton in Missouri at the Lee's Summit city court with her hair nicely done wearing what looked to be a fur vest.
Hinton has refused repeated attempts by Call For Action to answer questions.
In her latest legal drama in Missouri with the Garretts, their attorney says Hinton’s mental state was not an issue in their civil trial.
“It was questioned by me before we began, and I was assured that she was fine to proceed with trial in Missouri,” said attorney Sherry DeJanes.
The Garretts now wait to for a Jackson County judge to decide the outcome of their case.
"She is someone who has learned to work the system and learned to do it well and that's an argument that I made to the judge," DeJanes added.
Hinton will remain in Larned for treatment. Sources say she turned herself Tuesday night at the Johnson County Jail.
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