Calif. man jailed after housing homeless on ranch

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2009 7:42 PM

A California rancher who houses homeless people on his property chose to serve 90 days in jail rather than accept probation after being convicted of misdemeanor safety violations.

Dan de Vaul says the terms of probation offered Monday would prevent him from sheltering about 30 people who reside at his ranch and participate in a substance abuse recovery program.

The 66-year-old de Vaul says he is proud to go to jail for housing the homeless. About 30 supporters applauded as he was led out of court in handcuffs.

Judge John Trice says officials have offered to help de Vaul bring his property up to code, but he would not accept assistance.

A jury in San Luis Obispo convicted him of two misdemeanors for violations of building and safety code.