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Cheyenne Williams Update: Was Lesbian Teen Victim of Prank or Attempted Murder?

Cheyenne Williams claims she was beaten by classmates because she is a lesbian WKYT

Cheyenne Williams (WKYT)
MCKEE, Ky. (CBS/AP) The three Kentucky teens accused of beating Cheyenne Williams, a gay classmate, and attempting to throw her off a cliff are claiming Williams was a willing participant in the "hoax," and say they can prove it.

Attorneys for Ashley Sams, Korin Schwab and a 17-year-old, whose identity is not being released because she is a juvenile, dispute Williams' claim that the alleged attack was hate crime, pointing to the video of the incident that Williams had the presence of mind to record on her cell phone.

Korin Schwab, left and Ashley Sams (Kentucky State Police)
"I have seen the video I will not comment on what it shows. Other than to say that is what I base my opinion on [that] it was staged and the victim was a willing participant," Sharon Allen Gray, who represents Sams told CBS affiliate WYMT.

Defense attorneys asked for a preliminary hearing in the case on Thursday and Gray said she looks forward to the truth about the case coming out then.

Williams told authorities that Sams, Schwab and a 17-year-old classmate assaulted her April 16 and tried to push her off a cliff.

Williams' mother says the attack was a hate crime, motivated by the fact that her daughter is openly gay. But Joie Peters, the detective handling the case, said he would not characterize the alleged attack as a hate crime.

Peters said it appeared the incident started as a prank but escalated to the point that Williams was frightened and suffered minor injuries.

Sams and Schwab are charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. The charges against the 17-year-old have not been released because she is a juvenile.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
April 23, 2010 - Cheyenne Williams Attacked by Classmates Because She's a Lesbian, Parents Claim

  • Carlin Miller

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