Warner undecided about appeal of latest ruling in graffitti case

Scotts Bluff County Attorney Doug Warner told KNEB News Tuesday night he is undecided about moving forward with the next step in the appeal process after a District Court ruling that affirmed the dismissal of an enhanced graffiti charge against a Gering woman.

Alysha Schwartzkopf was accused of writing a racial epithet on a biracial Gering student's car October 17th of last year. But Scotts Bluff County Judge James Worden dismissed the case in February, 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.

District Judge Leo Dobrovolny agreed with that ruling in his opinion, saying graffiti is defined in the state staute as something attached to a rock, wall, fence, tree, building or other structure and that a vehicle is not defined as a "tangible property" in the law.

Warner said he still believes a car qualifies as a structure as the term is used in the statute. But he also told KNEB News "If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.", adding he would have to "think about" whether to appeal Dobrovolny's ruling to the State Court of Appeals.

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