Township drops charges against zombie nativity scene

Township drops charges against zombie nativity scene

SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The man behind a controversial nativity scene will not have to pay $13,500 in fines issued by Sycamore Township.

27 misdemeanor charges against the 'zombie' nativity scene were dropped on Tuesday, Jasen Dixon confirms.

Dixon's contentious front yard display replaced religious figures with zombies. Even the baby Jesus figure had fangs and blood spilling from its mouth.

Township officials claimed the roof of the nativity scene violated zoning laws.

Township Administrator Greg Bickford said the township determined the case wasn't worth the cost of litigation and voluntarily withdrew charges against Dixon.

"There's no point in spending the money to continue to go after that when the problem no longer exists," said Bickford.

Bickford claims the case was never about the zombies, but rather the code-violating structure.

"A lot of people have looked at this case as a humorous story, but there is a fundamental principle at stake," said Dixon's lawyer, Rob Linneman. "The real importance of the First Amendment is that it protects unconventional and unpopular viewpoints from persecution."

Despite the legal troubles, Dixon plans to rebuild the nativity scene for the 2016 holiday season.

The display isn't religious statement but rather a piece of art, according to the Facebook page description. "We are not atheist," the description clarifies.

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