Monday, April 11, 2011

WV Man Acquitted of Battery for Spitting on Westboro's Shirley Phelps-Roper

Unlikely hero, Billy Spade.
A Fayette County West Virginia man was acquitted of battery charges stemming from an incident in April, 2010, when members of the infamous Phelps klan protested the funerals of mineworkers killed by an explosion at the Massey Energy coal mine.

It took the jury just one hour to decide that Billy Spade was not guilty of battery when he spat tobacco juice on a sign being held by Westboro Baptist Church's Shirley Phelps-Roper. Arresting officer Sgt. Nick Null, who was assigned to the protest, said he saw Spade spit on Phelps-Roper's chest.

Spade told the jury he was offended by signs that said "Thank God For Dead Coal Miners", but it was a sign that said "Thank God For Dead Marines" that was the last straw for him. A roadside bomb killed Spade's close friend, a Marine serving in Afghanistan.

See the full story in the Charleston Gazette.
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