Hate crime charges were dropped Thursday against two 19-year-olds accused of setting fire to a Donald Trump campaign sign in Maryland.
D’Asia R. Perry, of Baltimore, and Joy M. Shuford, of Owings Mills, are accused of burning the Trump sign and a sign for Republican state Rep. Kathy Szeliga outside a sporting goods store in Princess Anne on Friday, the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office said in a news release.
The women were initially charged with a number of offenses, including second-degree arson and committing a hate crime, but the Princess Anne Police Department and the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Thursday the joint decision to drop those charges, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The women are still charged with malicious burning, trespassing and malicious destruction of property, The Sun reported.
The damaged signs belong to Robert Wink, owner of Wink’s Sporting Goods on Carole Lane. The owner’s son, Jamie Wink, told The Sun that the sign has been a target of vandalism since it went up in September. He said it’s also attracted a great deal of customers who support the president.
“It’s been a pretty good attention-getter,” he said.
Friday’s fire spread to surrounding vegetation but was quickly controlled by the Princess Anne Fire Department, the fire marshal’s office said. Damages are estimated to be $800.
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