'I felt violated': Davidson mayor fights back against house squatters

Davidson mayor fights back against squatters

DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox’s family fell victim to squatters who moved into his parents’ home and refused to leave.

Now, Knox is taking steps to help prevent this from happening to others.

“I was mad, I was angry, and I felt violated,” Knox said.

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Police said Turmaine Thorne, 30, and Taqiyah Barber, 35, used a hide-a-key to get into the home on Jan. 4. The duo claimed allegiance to the Moorish Nation, a sovereign citizen group. They filed their own deed on the multimillion-dollar house, which once belonged to Knox's deceased parents.


Traditionally, Moorish Nation members believe U.S. laws don't apply to them.

“Just to be that bold and brash to think that you could just do this and get away with it,” Knox said.

It's been weeks since it happened to him, but Knox said he's brought the issue to both the Register of Deeds and local lawmakers.

(From left: Thorne, 30, Barber)

“There should be some manner of seasoning a document to say, ‘We’ve got to make sure this is legitimate before we record it because, at the end of the day, this quitclaim deed was recorded,’” Knox said.

The mayor hopes there will be a precedent to help people who fall victim to the same scene.

When this investigation first started, the two suspects bonded out for no more than $400 combined.

Now, there are five felony warrants out for the couple’s arrest.