CHARLOTTE — A judge found a woman guilty Tuesday night on charges related to her 2015 occupation of a pricey home in the Piper Glen neighborhood.
The ruling came after a nearly six-hour long trial Tuesday on charges against Ninti El-Bey.
Police said the woman squatted in a home off Kelly Woods Lane. Records show it is a foreclosure and is owned by J.P. Morgan Chase. However, she has claimed she had the legal right to stay there as part of an agreement with something called the "International Indigenous Trust" and the bank.
District Judge Donnie Hoover sparred with her Tuesday over her alleged proof of that agreement and was frequently confused by her arguments.
"I'm not going to sit here all night unless you come up with that private agreement in 30 seconds," Hoover said at one point during El-Bey's testimony.
El-Bey cited case law claiming she didn't have to divulge the details of that agreement. She frequently made arguments about liens and Uniformed Commercial Code that fell on deaf ears.
During testimony Tuesday, prosecutors called to the stand Canan Kennedy, a Realtor who was tasked with keeping an eye on the property and preparing it for sale.
Kennedy testified she showed up one day and the "For Sale" sign was missing from the front yard and the lock damaged.
She entered the home and encountered a man, not identified in court, who she claims said the property belonged to the "International Indigenous Trust".
El-Bey has mentioned her ties to the Moorish Nation or Moorish Nationals. Police experts say the group is often tied to squatting incidents as well as lengthy legal battles and lawsuits against authorities.
Judge Hoover ultimately found her guilty on six of seven counts. She was found not guilty on a charge related to her driver's license.
The judge's sentence allows her to avoid prison time so long as she obeys a 12-month supervised probation period and stays away from the home.
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