Child Welfare Concern Led to Squatter Arrest

Child Welfare Concern Led to Squatter Arrest

Self-proclaimed sovereign citizen Tabitha Gentry would still be squatting in a luxury east Memphis home if the Shelby County Sheriff's Office had not taken quick action. Sources tell ABC 24 a family member filed a protective order at Juvenile Court after receiving text messages from Gentry's teenage daughter.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Self-proclaimed sovereign citizen Tabitha Gentry would still be squatting in a luxury east Memphis home if the Shelby County Sheriff's Office had not taken quick action.

Sources tell ABC 24 the teenage daughter inside the house was texting pictures of empty shelves and cabinets to her aunt.

Around 8 p.m. Thursday night, that aunt hired a lawyer who went to Juvenile Court and filed a protective order. That's what allowed deputies to go into the home.

Deputies took the 15-year-old into protective custody, as well as a 13-year-old. The older child is staying with her aunt, and the other child is in state custody.

All week Niki Bryant has watched the events of her friend unfold on television. The family friend said she isn't surprised by what happened.

"That is just something they believe in," she said. "I didn't think nothing of it because I know how she acts."

Despite squatting in a $3 million home, Bryant says Gentry isn't dangerous.

"She's a friendly person… she's nice and wouldn't do anything to hurt anyone."

That said, she is concerned about Gentry's children. There will be a hearing next week in Juvenile Court to determine what happens with them. At this point it is unknown if Gentry will appear for that hearing, or if she will be considered a flight risk.

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