Texas Man Who Tried To Claim Squatters’ Rights On House Sentenced

FORT WORTH (November 15, 2012)—David Cooper, 26, of DeSoto was sentenced to 10 years' probation for trying to claim squatters' rights on a house using an obscure state law.

A Tarrant County jury deliberated for less than two hours Thursday before deciding the sentence.

Cooper must also pay a $10,000 fine.

He was convicted Wednesday of first-degree felony theft and burglary for illegally occupying the $400,000 Arlington home.

He could have received a life sentence on the theft charge and 20 years in prison on the burglary charge.

Cooper said he relied on a law allowing for "adverse possession" when he filed a claim for $16 on the home and moved in.

The family that owned the home was away because a member was being treated for cancer.


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