(PARKER, Colo.) — A lesbian couple who claimed they were victims of a hate crime have been arrested after police determined they staged the incidents.
On Oct. 28, Aimee Whitchurch, 37, and Christel Conklin, 29, called police and reported the words “Kill the Gay” were scrawled in red spray paint on the garage door of their Parker, Colo., home.
The next day, the couple told deputies they found a noose hanging on the handle of their front door.
The women told officers they believed the incidents were retaliation from their neighbors and homeowner’s association, who had complained the couple did not pick up after their dogs.
Due to the nature of the crimes, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office worked in tandem with the FBI to investigate. After reviewing witness statements, authorities determined Whitchurch and Conklin had staged the incidents.
Both women are charged with criminal mischief and false reporting. Whitchurch faces an additional charge of forgery.
She told ABC’s Denver affiliate KMGH-TV police were mistaken and vowed to fight the charges.
“This is a fight I started. This is a fight I’m going to finish. This is a fight I’m right on,” she said. “I have every right to live where I want to live.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire