Warner appealing graffiti ruling to get clarification not retrial
Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner says he will appeal a County Court ruling that dismissed an enhanced graffiti charge against a Gering woman because he wants clarification of the statute.
Alysha Schwartzkopf was accused of writing a racial epithet on a biracial Gering student's car October 17th of last year. But Judge James Worden dismissed the case Tuesday after three hours of testimony, agreeing with a defense argument that a car is not a "structure" as defined in the statute and thus cannot be the subject of unauthorized graffiti.
Warner told KNEB News he is appealing to district court to get clarity on the issue, not to gain a retrial, which can't happen now that the case has been dismissed.
Warner says it is "an important case because lots of property gets tagged" and he believes a car, a bridge, or anything with "some type of form" qualifies as a structure as the term is used in the statute. He also notes the very first sentence of the statute talks about unauthorized graffiti on a building "or any tangible property", which he also believes enhances his position that a "tagged car" would qualify as a crime.
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