SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A controversial Zombie nativity scene has a Sycamore Township homeowner stuck in the middle of a court battle.
The man who put it up,Jasen Dixon, says he's being targeted by the township for his freedom of expression.
Dixon was in court Tuesday asking a judge to dismiss the charges against him.
He's accused of violating Sycamore Township's zoning laws when he set up his controversial zombie nativity scene, but Dixon's attorney, Rob Linneman, says what's really at issue here is freedom of speech.
"Whether the township's actions impose upon Mr. Dixon's right to express himself. We think Mr. Dixon has the right to use his yard to express himself. It's his first amendment right" Linneman said.
Linneman said the nativity scene earned Dixon 27 citations totaling $13,000 in possible fines.
He also said the township didn't follow its own procedures when it notified Dixon of the violations and imposed a fine on the same day.
Outside the courthouse, Dixon supporters, like Forest Thomer, dressed as zombies exercised their right to free speech.
"If people are offended, particularly if they're offended by zombies they need to get a reality check" Thomer said.
The case has drawn national attention and Dixon says he's in it for the long haul.
"I think just Sycamore Township just made this a circus and it's a joke so we're hanging in there. We'll see what happens."
Township officials were not available for comment.
Dixon is expected back in court March 15, at which time the judge may rule on a motion to dismiss the case.
Meanwhile, Dixon said he plans to set up his zombie nativity scene again next Christmas season and he promises it will be bigger and better.