On Friday morning at 4 a.m (August 10), a twenty-five year old LGBT organization in Lithuania was attacked by an...
The arson of a gay man’s home in Carrollton, Ga., continues to be investigated by local and federal authorities. However, it appears doubtful that it will be classified as a hate crime as defined by federal law.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates told the GA Voice this week through a spokesperson that the matter is still being investigated and the FBI is partnered with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. No subjects have been identified and it is still undetermined whether there will be federal jurisdiction.
Chris Staples, 43, was inside his small home in Carroll County on Saturday, Jan. 22, when a rock with an anti-gay note attached was thrown through his window. Hours later, Staples woke up to find his home engulfed in flames. Carroll County is some 50 miles west of Atlanta.
Chris Staples says he is still trying to wrap his head around the idea that someone would try to kill him.
The gay Carrollton man had his home vandalized and then burned down; he was asleep at home when the fire began and barely escaped.
“I feel like I’m sort of in a cave, still in shock,” Staples told the GA Voice. “I haven’t shed a tear, haven’t gotten mad.”
Staples, 43, was inside his small home in Carroll County on Sunday, Jan. 23, when he said a rock with an anti-gay note attached was thrown through his window. Hours later, Staples said he woke up to find his home engulfed in flames. Carroll County is some 50 miles west of Atlanta.
Wanda Morris said she’s still “in shock” that someone allegedly tried to burn her son’s house down with him inside simply because he is gay.
“We’ve lived here 31 years and never had a cross word with anyone,” she told the GA Voice today.
Christopher Staples, 43, was inside his small home in Carroll County on Sunday when he said a rock with an anti-gay note attached was thrown through his window. Hours later, Staples said he woke up to find his home engulfed in flames. Carroll County is some 50 miles west of Atlanta.
The FBI is assisting the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department and there is discussion the alleged crime may be classified as a hate crime.
The FBI is helping to investigate a fire at the home of a gay Carroll County man to determine if the suspected arson is a hate crime.
If federal prosecutors decide the alleged attack on Christopher Staples fits the criteria, it would likely be the first case in Georgia charged under the new Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to Atlanta FBI spokesperson Stephen Emmett.
"The FBI is in a supportive role in this investigation, but the investigation itself remains with Carroll County authorities," Emmett told the GA Voice.
Asked what specifically the FBI is doing in the case, "I won't elaborate other than initial crime scene assessment and any additional lab submittals that Carroll County deems necessary — those types of matters," Emmett said.
A Carroll County man believes he was the victim of a hate crime after his house was set on fire late Sunday, according to WSB-TV. Chris Staples told WSB that a rock, with an anti-gay note attached, was thrown through a window in his home and several hours later, he awoke to flames in his bedroom.
According to WSB, Staples said of the note:
"It said, ‘We know you're gay. And God hates gays. You won't be raping anybody in the county and God's going to make sure that you burn in hell.’ And something about my daddy... my daddy will make sure you burn in hell."