Winnsboro Woman Facing Criminal Charges For Allegedly Setting Herself On Fire
20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt, who police say lit herself on fire last year, now faces criminal charges that could put her in prison for over a decade.
In October, Moffitt allegedly told police she was the victim of a racially-motivated attack. La. State Police say Moffitt claimed she was attacked by members of the KKK, when in reality, she allegedly wrote "KKK" and a racial slur on her own vehicle with toothpaste. Spokesperson Albert Paxton with Troop F says Moffitt's fingerprints were found on the cigarette lighter and the charcoal fluid found at the scene. She was rushed to a burn center in Shreveport, where she was treated for her burns.
Moffitt faces a charge of terrorizing, which carries up to 15 years in prison, and one count of false swearing for the purpose of violating public safety. Franklin Parish 5th District Attorney Mack Lancaster says both charges are felonies, with the false swearing charge also carrying prison time. Word of this possible hate crime caused some panic in northeast Louisiana and that's why Lancaster says these charges are appropriate:
It could've caused serious riot issues and racial disruption.
With this happening so close to the 2012 presidential election, some people did make this case about race and the election, with numerous tweets being sent out calling the attackers "KKK Romney supporter(s)."