It took 16 years of mutual threats, warrants, multiple lawsuits — including two that reached the Virginia Supreme Court — but the furious dispute between neighbors John Frederick Ames and Oliver “Perry” Brooks is over.
Brooks was shot dead.
Rural Caroline County is abuzz but not entirely surprised by the shooting Monday morning that left Brooks, a 74-year-old farmer, dead and Ames, a 59-year-old Richmond lawyer and cattle breeder, charged with first-degree murder. The two men had been at odds since they became neighbors in 1988, when Ames bought the 675-acre estate next door to Brooks, reports the Washington Post.
Ames says he was defending himself from a stick-wielding Brooks on Monday as the two argued over a bull that had wandered off Brooks’s land onto Ames’s. But the feud between the men was over much more than a bull.
Neighbor Frances Hurt said, “It’s two hot-tempered people who couldn’t control themselves.”