Courts & Crime

Kentucky attorneys: Gay teen willingly participated in staged incident

MCKEE — The alleged attack on a gay teenager in Jackson County was a staged performance in which the girl was a willing participant, attorneys for those charged said Monday.

Attorneys for Ashley Sams and Corinne Schwab, both 18, said the teens committed no crime.

There are some "distinct falsehoods" in what the alleged victim, Cheyenne Williams, has told authorities, said James Baechtold, Schwab's attorney.

Sams and Schwab pleaded not guilty during a short hearing Monday. Their attorneys asked for a preliminary hearing in the case on Thursday. Sams' attorney, Sharon Allen Gay, said she looks forward to the truth about the case coming out on Thursday.

At that hearing, Judge Henria Bailey Lewis will decide whether to dismiss the charges, amend the charges or send the case to a grand jury.

Williams told authorities that Sams, Schwab and a 17-year-old classmate assaulted her April 16 and tried to push her off a cliff. The 17-year-old's name and the charges against her have not been released because she is a juvenile.

Sams and Schwab are charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. Williams' mother said the attack was a hate crime, motivated by the fact that her daughter is openly gay.

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