A Nebraska man arrested on suspicion of taking his neighbor’s pride flag off their front porch and burning it is officially headed to trial reports wowt.com. Cameron Mayfield attended a preliminary hearing with his defense attorney, James Martin Davis, in a Douglas County court room Wednesday morning.
Davis asked that his client’s felony charge be reduced to a misdemeanor charge, arguing Mayfield didn’t know the couple is gay and doesn’t know that rainbow flags symbolize the gay community. The prosecution objected, arguing that the rainbow flag has symbolized the gay community for more than 40 years; the judge rejected Davis’ request, noting that a hearing is to establish probable cause to a crime, not to ascertain guilt or innocence.
Mayfield now faces a felony arson charge and hate crime and is headed to trial at a later date. Omaha Police Department Burglary Detective Chad Simmons noted in his testimony that the Mayfield family had a sign posted in their yard that read "Protect Traditional Marriage" six months before the crime occurred.
The couple, Ariann Anderson and Jessica Meadows, filed a Harassment Protection Order against Mayfield after the incident; the court granted their request. The couple filed the order after police detectives informed the couple that Mayfield was making "delusional claims about stalking." At the time of the incident Mayfield's father told detectives that his son had recently lost his job and was drinking leading up to the incident. The couple has since replaced the flag and announced that they plan to marry again in their home state after a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.
After the hearing, Mayfield issued an apology on-air to the couple saying that it was a prank and that he doesn't "hate anybody or anything." The couple feels quite differently.
Said Ariann Anderson:
"Regarding Mr. Mayfield's comments: a prank is defined as a 'trick of an amusing or playful nature.' Mr. Mayfield's actions were neither amusing or playful. The events that night were frightening, especially considering that we have small children at home."
Watch Mayfield's on-air apology, AFTER THE JUMP...