Hate crime, attention-getting fraud or something else entirely?
That's the question surrounding the Douglas County Sheriff's Office decision to charge partners Aimee Whitchurch and Christel Conklin with painting "Kill the Gay" on their residence and then reporting it to authorities as a potential act of retaliation against them -- because they're lesbians.
Last October, according to the DCSO, officers responded to Lark Water Lane in Parker after Whitchurch and Conklin reported that they'd found the words "Kill the Gay" painted in red on their garage door. The next day, the deputies were back, this time because a small noose had been found hanging on the handle of their front door.
The disputed scrawl.
Back then, the women suspected that these acts had been prompted by a disagreement between them and the local Homeowner's Association -- over their dog, they told Fox31, whose original report about the incident featured an interview clip with Conklin in which an on-screen graphic identified her as "LESBIAN."
In the aftermath of this report, the DCSO huddled with the FBI -- and according to a release from the former, "it was determined the allegations of the incident were false. Detectives were able to determine that the two women involved were responsible for the words that were spray painted on the garage and the placement of the noose on their own front door."
Not so, Whitchurch told Fox31. She claims a former roommate who she describes as having drug problems lied to the authorities about what happened.
Whatever the case, the law enforcers seem convinced they've been chasing their tails in a very public way -- hence two counts of criminal mischief and a false reporting charge (all misdemeanors) against Conklin, with Whitchurch facing the same accusations plus one more misdemeanor involving forgery.
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Here's the latest Fox31 piece about this odd case.
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