Franklin police believe they have arrested the woman responsible for writing a racially-charged letter that incited protest from the local African-American community.
Sixty-one-year-old Margaret Farmer was arrested at her downtown Franklin Cares Consignment Shop and charged with harassment through communication. Police say Farmer sent the letter to an African-American motorcycle club earlier this year and signed the names of some of her family members with whom she has had previous troubles. Investigators say they believe Farmer was hoping to incite the African-American community against her family members.
Early in the investigation, police ruled those family members out as suspects, and instead called them victims. Police say a typewriter confiscated from Farmer's business was sent to the FBI crime lab for analysis, and has been matched to the ink and paper used to write the letter.
"I didn't write the letter," Farmer said on her way to jail.
"The letter was the most racist degrading letter I've ever read," lead investigator Det. Robert Huber said. "I'm glad that we finally can put some closure to it. The message is that if something like this is done again, we will pursue it and pursue criminal charges against the person involved in it," Huber said.
Farmer faces a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine if convicted. Police are treating this as a hate crime, which means a judge could extend the maximum penalty if Farmer is found guilty.