WMC Investigates: Ark. couple lives in fear because of 'nightmare neighbor'

Investigators: The nightmare next door
Mitchell has a 12 year history of violence, but has never been prosecuted. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Mitchell has a 12 year history of violence, but has never been prosecuted. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

CHERRY VALLEY, AR (WMC) - We all have neighbors. Some just a few yards away, others right next door.

So imagine if that neighbor set fire to your property line, let his dog attack yours - or even scarier - let one of his buddies fire shots into your home.

Those are the allegations made by a Mid-South pastor and his wife against their neighbor, who they'll see in court on Monday.

"That's real frightening. As a matter of fact we fear for our lives."

Pastor Kenneth Hill and his wife Vaddie fear for their lives after a series of strange events that began last year at their home in Cherry Valley, Arkansas, about an hour outside Memphis.

"We can't sleep at night. Every time we hear a noise, we think it's him," said Kenneth.

The man in question is their neighbor, Holbrook Mitchell.

Mitchell lives across a field from the Hills and they say footage from security cameras mounted on their home shows Mitchell setting small fires near their property line.

"He's trying to terrorize us like he's back in the 1920s. How they did the slaves," said Vaddie.

The couple says it all started in October after Mitchell cleaned mud off his tractor in front of their house, making a mess in front of their house. They called police. Then in November, the Hills say Mitchell's dog attacked their dog Jake.

"He was out there all night and had been bleeding," said Vaddie. "We decided to file charges on him."

That's when the couple says Mitchell began following them around town, and revving his motorcycle at the end of their driveway night after night.

Then, a shot fired into the couple's bedroom. Pastor Hill found the shell casing in clothes hanging in the closet.

"The bullet came in and it fell down in the cuff of the shirt," said Kenneth.

A friend of Mitchell's - Christopher Little - was charged with the shooting. Investigators say the shot came from Mitchell's front porch - and that Mitchell told officers he video-taped the incident.

Camera footage shows bright lights shining on their house, but you can't see where the lights are coming from.

The cameras also captured fires being lit in brush along the street that runs in front of their home. The Hills believe Holbrook Mitchell is responsible for all of it.

WMC tried to get Mitchell's side of the story at his trucking business in Cherry Valley. But after saying on the phone he wanted to do an interview, face-to-face he told Janice Broach to get off his property, even using his pick-up truck to sling rocks.

Mitchell has a lengthy arrest record. He plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in 2005, third-degree battery in 2008, misdemeanor assault in 2010 and disorderly conduct in 2012. However, most of the charges against Mitchell over the past 12 years were never prosecuted.

"He does whatever he wants to do here in Cherry Valley and nobody - the police, nobody else - can stop him," said Vaddie.

The Hills have filed multiple complaints against Mitchell, but the Cross County Sheriff's office says their hands are tied without hard evidence. They've seen the security video and say it's too dark to tell who is setting fires or shining lights on the Hill property. A small claims court will hear the dog attack case Monday.

The Hills pray that might put an end to the nightmare next door.

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