The memory of the Rowe days have been
tainted by the present owner.
On Monday, April 19, 2004, 59 year old
John F Ames, present owner of Holly Hill Farm (acquired
in an auction in 1985 for $442,000) has been charged
with First Degree Murder in the fatal shooting of neighbor
Oliver Perry Brooks, 74, on the farm over almost 2 decades
of feuding and litigation, involving a fence.
Ames had a fence erected in the late
1980s, and decided to use an old law in the books from
the 1630s stating landowners share in the cost of construction
of fences. He sent Brooks a bill for $45,000. He also
sent bills to other surrounding neighbors, most of them
Edgar Healey Rowe's descendants
(mostly granddaughters - elderly women). Brooks promptly
replied to the effect that he had no need for the fence,
and refused to pay the amount until the time would come,
if ever, that he would need the fence. Originally, the
court ruled this out in favor of the neighbors, but
it was overturned a few years later in favor of Ames.
Within weeks, they were feuding and
dragging each other into court for various reasons.
At one point during the height of the lawsuits, Ames
allegedly had his "men" kidnap and beat Mr
Perry. Not sure if he received any sentence for this.
Ames complained more than a couple times of Perry's
bull wandering into his farm to gain access to his Angus
On April 19th, Mr Perry - walking stick
in hand- went over to Holly Hill Farm to retrieve his
wanderlust bull. Ames fired his gun towards Brooks 6
times, shooting him 4 times, with one in the face. Only
five cartridge casings have been found.
John F Ames has been charged with First
Degree Murder, and originally was not to be allowed
released on bond. His attorney (a former attorney for
Lee Boyd Malvo - of sniper fame) stated he was a no
flight risk and non-violent (huh?) and requested $50,000
bond. He is now free on $100,000 bond, in which his
mother had to place her home as surety bond.
I would like to address this non-violent
issue? Considering the menacing and the nature of the
crime, the bullying of my distant cousins, the abduction
of Mr Perry, and also a prior record of which Mr Ames
tried to plow down an officer of the law with a tractor,
hello???, would this not be considered violent?
Ames is claiming self - defense, stating
Perry threatened him with a walking stick. Does this
warrant 4 gunshots in the elderly gentleman's body?
Mr Perry had a mere piece of wood, Mr Ames had a rifle,
pistol and ammo.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing
on June 11, 2004.