UPDATE 04/20/17, 7:47 pm ET: After reviewing the case, the Princess Anne Police Department and the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office have jointly decided to drop the hate-crime charges against the two women accused of burning the Trump sign, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The second-degree arson charges were also dropped, but the women still face charges of “malicious burning, trespassing and malicious destruction of property.”
The trials for D’Asia R. Perry of Baltimore and Joy M. Shuford of Owings Mills, both 19, are scheduled for May 22.
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
Two teenage girls have been charged with a hate crime for lighting a “Make America Great Again” sign on fire in Princess Anne, Maryland.
The Trump sign was displayed at a store owned by Robert Wink. He told the Baltimore Sun he is a Trump supporter and that the sign has been good for bringing business to his shop, which sells hunting supplies and guns.
“It’s been a pretty good attention-getter,” said the store owner.
The two teenagers are being charged with a hate crime because they committed arson “with discrimination or malice toward a particular group, or someone’s belief,” according to Princess Anne’s deputy chief fire marshal, Caryn L McMahon.
In documents for the hate crime charge, another police officer wrote:
“The intentional burning of these political signs, along with the beliefs, religious views and race of this political affiliation, directly coincides with the victim.”
Both women have been released on a $20,000 bond.
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