Homeowner who claimed Cary 'screwed' him dies

CARY David Bowden died Wednesday of lung cancer.

The 69-year-old had been in a legal battle with Cary for years after he painted "Screwed by the Town of Cary" on the front of his Maynard Road home in 2009.

He told ABC11 that his motivation for the sign was water damage to his home that, he claimed, was caused by a Cary road project.

Bowden said he wanted the town to buy his home because he claimed it was unsellable.

Instead, the Town of Cary fined Bowden for breaking the town's sign ordinance.

U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan later ruled Cary leaders violated Bowden's First Amendment rights when they fined him.

Currently, Cary is appealing the judge's ruling that allowed Bowden to keep his sign up.

Bowden, a triple bypass patient who had his toe amputated in 2009, couldn't climb a ladder, so he paid someone $200 to paint the message. Bowden later covered over the original spray painted words with a new large sign that's bolted to the front of his home.

Town officials say the size of the message on a 48-square-foot section of the front of the house violated community standards. Officials say Bowden could have had the words painted on as many as three smaller signs.

A celebration of Bowden's life will be held Saturday in Willow Spring.

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