Since then, both the neighbors and Banks have filed affidavits alleging the other party has continued to agitate the situation in violation of Boyle District Judge Jeff Dotson’s order that the parties have no contact with each other. A show cause hearing to determine if Banks violated the terms of his probation is scheduled for Nov. 10.
In an affidavit filed Sept. 23, Banks alleges that Connie Miller intentionally tried to provoke him as he was on the sidewalk near his home.
“She cleared her throat loudly as to get my attention. When I looked back toward her she began giggling and dancing as if she was riding a horse,” Banks wrote in the affidavit.
Connie Miller has submitted affidavits claiming Banks “gave me the finger” on Aug. 31. In another sworn statement, she wrote that Banks cursed her and laughed on Sept. 9.
On Thursday, James and Jeanette Sheldon filed a civil suit in Boyle Circuit Court against Banks and Tim Montgomery — who owns the home — over a 10-foot-tall board fence Banks recently constructed around the rear of the property. Part of the fence is built on the Sheldon’s property in the shared driveway and is blocking their use of the driveway, the lawsuit alleges.
Banks states in an affidavit that he built the fence to shield his family from contact by his neighbors.
In an unrelated incident, Banks was charged with assault of a former employee on Oct. 5. He posted bond upon his arrest and is scheduled for arraignment in that case Nov. 2.
While Banks has accumulated his share of adversaries during his relatively brief stay, he also can count some powerful allies. Mayor Hugh Coomer, mayoral candidate Bernie Hunstad and Montgomery, a Danville school board member, have taken an interest in and been supportive of Banks even as the situation has become increasingly volatile.
“J. L. does have issues in his character that aren’t the best in the world, but he doesn’t deserve to be treated like he’s been treated. I think they are in the wrong and are picking on him,” said Montgomery, who acknowledged that Banks has “anger issues.”
As the matter continues to fester, some worry it is destined for a bad end. Danville’s most infamous property dispute — a long-simmering feud between Green Acres neighbors that ended in 2004 when Jack Caldwell Sr. shot Jim Trachsel to death — is often invoked when the Banks case is discussed.
“That past is not lost on me. The tension is increasing and the stress is there,” Danville Police Chief Jay Newell said. “People have come to me and said, ‘This is going to explode. What are you going to do about it?’
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a quick and easy way to deal with it. We cannot pre-emptively charge someone with a crime they have yet to commit.”
Battle lines drawn
Banks moved into the home at 250 N. Third — which he is buying from Montgomery through a land contract — in mid February after leaving his previous residence on Old Shakertown Road.
A driveway off Lexington Avenue extends behind Banks’ home and historically has served that residence along with the neighboring home on Lexington, which is owned by Jim and Jeanette Sheldon and shared by their upstairs tenant, Centre College student Joseph Mann.
The driveway also runs to the rear of Clarence Wyatt’s home next door to Banks on Third Street and has been used by Wyatt, a Centre College professor and member of the city’s ethics board. The Sheldons, Mann, Wyatt and Ed and Connie Miller, who live two doors down from Banks on Third, have all become entangled with Banks over issues related to the use of the driveway.