GLENELG, Md. (WJZ) — 18-year-olds Matthew Lipp and Tyler Curtiss are headed for jail.
Their punishment is very similar to Joshua Shaffer’s, and Seth Taylor’s- both of whom were sentenced earlier.
All four were convicted of hate crimes for their graffiti attack last May on Glenelg High School. The teens spray-painted hate speech on the school’s parking lot, sidewalks and wall.
“It was 50 separate acts of hate. They were anti-Semitic, they were homophobic and they were racist in nature,” Rich Gibson, Howard County State’s Attorney, said.
The four teens were seniors at the high school and getting ready to graduate.
They said it started as a drunken prank.
In court, Lipp and Curtis called it a stupid act and said they are not racist.
They apologized to the community and the school, and David Burton – the school’s principal.
“It was devastating for all of us. A lot of fear and uncertainty and angst because of this incident,” Burton said.
The defense believes the hate crime charges were excessive for a vandalism case.
“In my view, it was a heavy-handed approach to charge as a hate crime,” Brian Thompson, Lipp’s lawyer, said. “It could’ve been charged as malicious destruction of property or could have been charged as defacement of school property.”
Because of their age and no criminal records, the judge reduced their prison sentences to time in county jail and community service.
Joshua Shaffer will serve 18 weekends, Seth Taylor received nine weekends, Matthew Lipp was sentenced to 16 weekends and Tyler Curtis will serve eight weekends.
But their criminal records for committing hate crimes could last a lifetime.