LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) – A man who built a quirky Mojave Desert compound known as Phonehenge West was sentenced to nearly 18 months in jail because he failed to pay for its demolition, Los Angeles County prosecutors said Friday.
Alan Kimble Fahey was ordered to pay more than $83,000 in costs incurred for the dismantling of the 20,000-foot labyrinth of interconnected structures and telephone poles. But Fahey has repaid just $1,250 to the county, the Los Angeles Times reported.
On Wednesday, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Daviann L. Mitchell questioned Fahey’s claims of financial hardship before sentencing him to 539 days in jail.
After the ruling, Fahey’s attorney Jerry E. Lennon said the nonviolent nature of his client’s offense and his documented heart condition will likely make him eligible for early release.
The retired phone company technician was convicted of a dozen misdemeanor building code violations. Fahey never got building permits for the structures, which included a 70-foot tower, and authorities said the compound was a danger.
Prosecutors said it took four big-rigs to haul away 53 tons of telephone poles, and trucks hauled another 280 tons of debris.
Some had praised the compound 50 miles north of downtown Los Angeles as an example of American folk art. The 70-foot tower had stained-glass windows and energy-producing windmills. There were nearly a dozen other buildings, including a replica of a 16th century Viking house.
Fahey had been defiant, saying authorities never should have forced him to tear down Phonehenge West. He added that his buildings are better constructed than the county courthouse he was convicted in.
Fahey said he did obtain building permits when he started Phonehenge West, but the county lost them.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Peak your palate with gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again