Jury finds Vonore lesbian couple intentionally set fire to home, claimed it was hate crime

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Jan 15, 2015
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VONORE (WATE) – The community rallied behind a same-sex couple after their home burned to the ground, but in a twist, a jury found the couple intentionally set fire to their house.

After five days, a jury found Carol Anne and Laura Stutte deliberately set fire to their home, blaming the fire on their neighbor. On May 13, 2011, the Stutte’s insurance company filed the lawsuit in federal court saying they found evidence the couple deliberately set fire to their property and claimed the insurance money.

In September of 2010, the Stuttes said the fire was a hate crime after the word “queer” was spray painted on their garage. They filed a lawsuit claiming their neighbor, Janice Millsaps, harassed them and even used the same derogatory word in the months leading up to the fire. They say they felt like they were targeted because they were lesibans. Millsaps filed a counter lawsuit against the couple, denying she harassed the couple or set the fire.



Jury finds Vonore lesbian couple intentionally set fire to home, claimed it was hate crime | WATE 6 On Your Side