‘Otis’ vows to appeal guilty verdict in Mount Airy

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Otis is in trouble again, but this time it’s not with Sheriff Andy Taylor.

James Slate, who dresses as the frequently-jailed Otis from “The Andy Griffith Show” and plays checkers with tourists in Mount Airy, has been found guilty of blocking a town sidewalk and fined $50.

The 64-year-old former police officer said Friday he’ll appeal the verdict.

Police say Slate was warned repeatedly about the checkerboard, table and chairs he set up on a sidewalk in front of his son’s store. They say he wasn’t dressed as Otis when he was arrested last April.

Mount Airy, the birthplace of Andy Griffith, served as the basis for Mayberry, the setting of the popular 1960s TV show.

Credit: The Associated Press.