Topeka Apartment Owners Settle Dispute In Court Using Newscast Video

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__WIBW's story of water and feces covering Karen Shutts' residence at The Bentley Place Apartments in Topeka in Mid-July was one piece of evidence the building's owner says showed neglect of the apartment's upkeep.

Marc Sheperd, President of BBMI, hoped today would be the day he could take full ownership of the Bentley Place Apartments from part-owners and managers Ubaldo Perez and Mireya Rosas.

He says for more than a year Shepherd has claimed that the pair failed to live up to their contractual obligations to maintain the complex in good condition.

Marc said, "This should be a misdemeanor, but it's not. The way they are treating people is just exactly what a slum lord is."

Resident Karen Shutts was the latest to experience issues within the apartment when she described having to live in a feces flooded apartment. She said the water covered her bathroom, bedroom and hallway, within her bottom floor apartment.

Shepherd's attorney, Randy Debenham used footage from WIBW newscasts to prove the poor living conditions, with reporter-anchor Justin Surrency and Photojournalist Eric Ives called to testify to what we saw.

Mireya Rosas testified she felt she was doing enough and the incident was not accidental. Rosas felt Shutts had purposefully allowed the toilet to clog in retaliation after she told Shutts to pay leftover rent money.

Shepard argued the managers did nothing to sterilize the apartment and judge hendricks wanted answers, which the defense could not provide.

Judge hendricks ruled he did not see sufficient evidence Perez and Rosas were addressing the issues and handed over full ownership of the property and management to BBMI.

Perez and Rosas have two weeks to appeal. BBMI cannot make any improvements or repairs to the property during that time.


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