Court to decide if riding lawn mower is a "motor vehicle"

Most people wouldn't give the question much thought, and it's a rare day indeed when a motorist passes a riding mower on a roadway. But it's a question of enormous consequence to Franklin Lloyd Harris.

In May 2006, Harris was arrested for stealing a Toro riding lawn mower from a Home Depot in Dalton. He was convicted at trial of motor vehicle theft and sentenced to 10 years in prison as a repeat offender.

On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court hears arguments on Harris' appeal, which contends a riding lawn mower doesn't meet the definition of a motor vehicle under Georgia law because it's used to cut grass, not transport people on a thoroughfare.

Prosecutors counter that the mower fits the definition because it is "self-propelled."

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