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Judge: Stonecrest Apartments a 'death trap'

By David Harten

This article was published January 30, 2013 at 3:26 p.m.

the-stonecrest-apartments-on-base-line-road-in-southwest-little-rock-were-ordered-shut-thursday-jan-17-2013-by-the-city

The Stonecrest Apartments on Base Line Road in southwest Little Rock were ordered shut Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, by the city.

— A Little Rock District Court judge asked for a 30-day progress report on the recently closed Stonecrest Apartments in a Wednesday afternoon court appearance.

Judge Mark Leverett met with officials from the complex's ownership and previous ownership — former complex manager Jeff Davis was also in attendance — as well as code enforcement officials to discuss the current state of the apartments that were closed due to increasingly poor living conditions.

Earlier this month, tenants were forced to move out until various health hazards were dealt with and corrected. The owners of the complex were cited for a number of code violations including problems with electrical systems, maintenance and plumbing.

During the hearing, Leverett called the complex a "death trap" after reviewing evidence of the conditions in the complex. The court then scheduled a 30-day progress report hearing for Feb. 25 to get an update on the conditions.

Code enforcement officials told the court that all tenants have vacated the premises and while water and electricity have not been completely shut off, they are in the process of doing so.

A fire at the complex over the weekend furthered issues for the complex. Little Rock Fire Department officials were called to the apartments around 9 p.m. Friday night in response to the blaze. The cause was unknown.

City Manager Bruce Moore said in an earlier report that the closing of the complex was done in part as an "ongoing process to hold rental property owners accountable."

Read more about this story in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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