Couple arrested after squatting in multi-million dollar mansion, claim allegiance to ‘Moorish Nation’

Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 at 12:34 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A couple in Davidson is now facing charges after police say they found them squatting in a multi-million dollar mansion that’s owned by the current mayor’s late parents.

“It’s just pretty bold. You wouldn’t think stuff like that happens- but it does, but I wouldn’t think it would happen in Davidson,” said one concerned neighbor.

Homeowners say they are shocked to hear of recent events in his neighborhood. Less than a week ago, Davidson Police got word a couple was squatting in this multi-million dollar home just off Concord Road. The 6.5 acre property and home is for sale and owned by the Knox family—the parents of current Mayor of Davidson, Rusty Knox.

“Its a pretty bold move just to move in and pretend you’re living there,” says the neighbor.

But police say that’s exactly what one couple did. Police went to the house —known as ‘Knox Knoll’—finding 30 year old Turmaine Thorne and 35 year old Taqiyah Barber—living in the 5 bedroom 4 bath Georgian mansion.

A report with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says the suspects rented a U-Haul and loaded it with their belongings. The two drove the U-Haul to the home on Concord Road and moved their things inside the house. Police say the couple found a “hide-a-key” on the planter before moving their belongings inside.

Just before Jan. 4, a family member saw the lights on in the house and noticed the U-Haul in the driveway.

The couple refused to let police in, but police later retrieved a key from the Knox family. Inside, police say the couple had made themselves at home—even parking their car in the garage. But property records show—this was no ‘welcome home’.

The two held a fake deed up to the window, when police arrived at the home. The couple was later arrested after being found hiding in the master bedroom.

The pair claims allegiance to the Moorish Nation, which share beliefs similar to traditional sovereign citizens. Common practices include filings to claim property belonging to another—and the pair took those beliefs to the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds where they filed a Quit Claim Deed just a day before, claiming they have legal ownership of the property on Concord Road. But records show no legal transfer of the property—its still in the name of the Knox family. Police arrested the couple on breaking an entering charges—and they bonded out of jail hours later.

Police say due to other possible offenses committed by the pair during this incident—the investigation is on going—and with that—Mayor Knox says he’s refraining from commenting right now, until the investigation is complete.

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