Tabitha Gentry sentenced to 20 years for squatting in mansion

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A woman known for squatting in a multimillion dollar mansion could spend over 30 years in prison.

Tabitha Gentry claimed to be a sovereign citizen and said she doesn't recognize Tennessee law.

She's already serving a 14 year sentence for assaulting police officers in 2012.

Wednesday, a judge sentenced her to 20 years for theft over $250,000 and aggravated burglary, but Gentry was not about to head back to prison quietly.

If it was not already clear by her giggles and waves to the camera in the courtroom, Gentry's words to the judge made it very clear she was not taking her sentencing seriously.

"I have not given you permission to do any of anything in this courtroom," she told him.

The judge decided she would serve 20 years for squatting, in addition to a 14 year sentence she's already serving.

"Consecutive sentences would reflect two separate crimes, separate dates, separate victims," Assistant District Attorney Sam Winnig explained.

Gentry's lawyer, Claiborne Ferguson, was not happy with the decision after fighting to have her sentences run concurrently.

"The state legislators have said concurrent is the appropriate sentence, and the court is bound by what the legislators tell them to do," he told WREG.

Gentry was not about to leave the courtroom without giving everyone there an earful about her views as a sovereign citizen.

"Everyone in here is committing perjury and treason against the constitution you took an oath to serve," she said, looking around the room.

The judge referred to her as a "pain in the neck."

Ferguson admitted her views made her a difficult client.

"She's pretty certain of what she wants to say and when she wants to say it and she makes sure nothing stands in her way when she does," he said.

Gentry tried to have the last word in court, telling the judge, "May God have mercy on your soul."

However, unless her attorney can appeal the decision, she will spend the next 34 years in prison.

Ferguson told WREG he will appeal the sentence.

If he follows through with that, a motion for a new trial will most likely be made July 13.

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