Franklin Parish Sheriff's Deputies booked Sharmeka Moffitt on charges of terrorizing and filing a false police report in connection with an October incident in which police believe she set herself on fire.
Moffitt was arrested Tuesday after her arraignment where she pleaded not guilty. The 21-year-old suffered burns to the majority of her body last fall in what police believe was a self-inflicted act.
She called police on October 21st and said she was attacked while walking in a Winnsboro Park by three men in white hoodies.
Police also found KKK written in toothpaste on the hood of Moffitt's car.
Hate Crime Was A Lie
WINNSBORO, LA (KSLA) -Authorities say the woman who told police she had been attacked and set on fire in a Winnsboro city park made it all up.
20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt remains in critical condition in the Regional Burn Center at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, where she is believed to have undergone surgery Tuesday.
Winnsboro Police Chief Lester Thomas said Moffitt admitted she set the fire herself and put the racial slurs on her car.
Evidence at the scene confirmed what Moffitt told police. The State Police Crime Lab found her DNA on a lighter found at the scene.
When Chief Thomas was asked about a motive, he said that remains unknown.
The State Police will turn their evidence over the Franklin Parish District Attorney's office, who would be the one to file charges in the case.
Many Winnsboro residents came to hear what Chief Thomas had to say, and were visibly upset when they learned what police had discovered.
Moffitt's family released a statement shortly after the news conference ended.
"Our family is devastated to learn the circumstances surrounding our daughter's injuries. While this was not the resolution we had expected, it is a resolution, and we appreciate the thorough investigation by the local and state police as well as federal agencies.
We are sincerely sorry for any problems this may have caused and wish to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love, prayers and support we have received from friends, acquaintances, church organizations and government officials.
Over the coming days and weeks, our focus will be on Sharmeka and her recovery."
Woman set on fire to undergo surgery
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A 20-year woman who told police she was set on fire by three men who wrote the initials KKK and a racial slur on her car was to undergo surgery Tuesday after she suffered extensive burns.
The Times reported that Sharmeka Moffitt was set to undergo surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. She was listed in critical condition.
Moffitt called 911 on Sunday and said she was set on fire by three men wearing white hoodies or hoods. She was on a walking trail in Winnsboro in Franklin Parish.
On Tuesday, detectives said they had no leads and no suspects. Lt. Julie Lewis, a state police spokeswoman, said DNA and other evidence collected from the scene was being analyzed.
A candle-light vigil was scheduled in Winnsboro.
Possible Hate Crime Investigation
The FBI is investigating a possible hate crime out of Franklin Parish. A woman was attacked and burned at a park Sunday night. 20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt is in critical condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Authorities say Moffitt told 911 three men in white hoodies attacked her, and they say racial slurs were spray painted on her car.
At this point, they're not calling it a hate crime, but that's to be determined. No arrests have been made yet. Winnsboro is in northeast Louisiana.