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Murder witness questioned about involvement in furry fandom

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (4 votes)

On February 25 (2011), the body of 18-year-old Jonathan Dargis, a resident of Zeeland, Michigan, was found buried in a wooded area near the mobile home he shared with his mother. He had died from multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma.

Joshua Hambley (also 18), an aquaintance of Dargis, was subsequently charged with his murder. Police and Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz allege that the motive was Dargis' alleged sexual assault of Hambley's 19-year-old ex-girlfriend.

The twist? The ex-girlfriend is also a furry, and it's come up in court.

The woman (unnamed for legal reasons) called Hambley during the assault and placed her phone on the speaker function so that he could pick up what was happening.

Though Hambley had a new girlfriend, the ex-girlfriend said she still wanted to be with him, and after the alleged assault she made out with Hambley in a bathroom of the former Zeeland Community Hospital (now City on a Hill Ministries). She said Hambley began to carry things too far for her and she told him to stop, saying it was just like "what Dargis did the day before".

Hambley's mother, who found the body and called authorities, said the day before the slaying her son had asked for plastic bags and a shovel. Hambley also allegedly called his current girlfriend and told her that it was taking longer than he anticipated to kill and bury Dargis.

Defense attorney Thomas Smith sought to discredit the evidence of the 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, grilling her on why she sent what appeared to be flirtatious text messages to Dargis after the alleged assault. The woman also admitted that she had told Hambley about the alleged assault in the hope of making him jealous. Smith also questioned the woman about "her identity as a 'furry'". She said she believes she is part horse and has adopted the furry name "Night Horse".

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (9 votes)

Whoa whoa whoa... there are girl furries?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

What you thought guys just pretended to be girls online? I would find that weird seeing as I'm a girl furre

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

You... missed the joke. ;p

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Jokes... are usually funny.

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

That is possibly the most inappropriate joke ever.

I way laughed way too much at it.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

I really don't see the relevance of furry in this case.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

From the context, Hambley's attorney is trying to make the girl look mentally unstable in order to cast doubts on her testimony. Hambley has the right to a defense, so I would guess this is just an unfortunate but unsurprising part of the trial procedure, in this case. If this is true then the girl should have plead the fifth when the subject of furry came up - because you're right, it's not ACTUALLY relevant.

I'd like to see a transcript of the questioning, if something like that would be available. I want to know if the Holland Sentinel is embellishing the story with the trite "Furries are insane" bullshit, or if they're pulling that statement indirectly from something stated by the lawyer... or the witness.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

You can't just plead the fifth if you don't like a question and think it is not relevant. You can only plead the fifth if the answer to the question will incriminate you (with a few exceptions, like you can refuse to answer if it will incriminate a spouse, and there are things that void your protection under the fifth amendment if you are not careful).

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

How do you "plead the fifth" in New Zealand? Last I heard, NZ wasn't a US state, idiot.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

To answer your question: if you wanted to do the equivalent of pleading the fifth in New Zealand, you would invoke your common law privilege against self-incrimination. And while it is true New Zealand is not a US state, I don't know what that has to do with a story about someone from the city of Zeeland in Michigan, which is a US state...

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

Are you fucking retarded? Zeeland, Michigan, asshole.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (1 vote)

Quite possibly the stupidest Flayrah comment ever.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

They'll use anything strange or odd in order to give it a bad name. Shame on them.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Um, What does being a Furry have ANYTHING to do with teenage love angst murder crap. Might as well have asked her if she followed Twilight bullshit

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

It's like a Moby video!

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (5 votes)

The sexual fetishists I could tolerate, because they are mostly harmless to anything but 'image', now it seems like we're actually attracting some actual psychos who can harm a little more then just the 'image' of the fandom. If we could only keep one element removed from the fandom at large, I would choose the sexualization and perversion over the overly and needlessly violent.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

I don't see what this has to do with letting psychos into the fandom. What she did and being in the fandom are pretty unrelated it seems, and any group of people large enough is going to accumulate a diverse mixture of people in terms of unrelated traits. If anything, people who play weird relationship and jealousy games like she did are probably more numerous than furries.

Your rating: None Average: 3.2 (6 votes)

My point is that I've never seen the term furries and murder together since the death of Starblade, since then it seems to be on the rise.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Well in the US the murder rate is about 1 in 20,000 people*, per year, so how many people do you estimate identify enough as a furry that it might get dug up by a newspaper or lawyer? If the rate for furries was anywhere near that of the general US population, it means over the next 5 years you would expect a person who went to Anthrocon in 2010 to be murdered or victim of an attempted murder. Of course the rate may be rather different for furries due to the furry population having different biases from the general population, but at the same time this story isn't talking about someone who has been murdered (or even a murder), but only one who was a witness in a murder trial. So the number of people who can be involved in a murder one way or another is higher. With the size of the fandom at this point, it doesn't take much odds for something to be likely to happen at least once, and then be quickly highlighted by media.

And if in the past fandom has been relatively isolated from such things, and had lower incidence of such things than the general population, then that means increasing incidence with growth doesn't necessarily mean more psychos, but could happen just from more "normal" people, brining the rate more in line with that of the general population (or even the previous members changing in demographics as they age).

(* Cited rate may include both attempted and actual murders.)

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

I originally read this at FNN, so I'm probably confused about the logistics, because, well... the story was confusing on who was a furry, who was murdered, and what in general was going on. Not because it didn't say who was and who wasn't, but it throws all these names and backstory at you before saying which one of the names was the murderer, and who was the victim, and then there was the words sexual assault which was even more confusing. "Texted after the assault", wait, the murder or the accused sexual assault??

In fact now that I read this article the previous article makes a little more sense. After literally reading through it 5 or 6 times.

Though, statisitically speaking, I didn't realize there was 20,000 people at anthrocon. Now 20,000 people in the fandom? I would say that might be a fair estimate at this point. Still, I guess in essense there still is only one case, as I'm not sure whether the person who murdered Starblade is furry or considered himself such or not, just as I'm not sure if the other player in this story were furries, but they were certainly in a relationship with one, which make me suspicious. It seems though that all of these stories of murder and proxy murder are coming all up at once.

I guess I will redact that statement and replace it with this: "Well, I guess no one can say a furry isn't worth killing someone over." Because after reading this over and over, my guess is the ex boyfriend got wind of the assault allegation and killed the accused assaulter over it for touching a girl he wasn't over.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

I used that there were roughly 4000 people at Anthrocon in 2010, not 20,000. If assuming those people had the same chances as the general public, since the figure of one person per 20,000 is per year, not for whole lifetime, then that means there is a 20% chance in one year than an attendant would be a victim. Or in other words like what I said in the previous post, 20% chance in one year means you would expect one person in 5 years. If you want to included murders in addition to murder victims, then you would probably have roughly twice that many people showing up the news.

I only use Anthrocon number as an example, since it is a very straightforward, easy to picture, conservative number of people who could be identified as furry to a reasonable degree.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Of course, at current growth rates there will be 6666 at Anthrocon 2015 . . .

Your rating: None

I'm kind of new to the fandom, do we know yet why he was murdered? And luckily except for one occasion recently, none of the people were trying to hurt someone.

Your rating: None

Relationship drama, basically. Girl who is a furry had an ex-boyfriend who took the life of a newer (probably?) ex-boyfriend who she accused of harming her, but seemed to try and patch things up with, from what I can tell.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

I don't see what this has to do with letting psychos into the fandom.


Agreed. The Flayrah article claims the ex-girlfriend was "also a furry," but so far I haven't been able to find a single news source that states Jonathan Dargis or Joshua Hambley was one.
Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

In other news, two people were pulled from the rubble nine days after being trapped in their home following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan!

(It's not currently known whether they were involved in the fandom or not, but whatever tenuous connection they may have, however marginal, should be as vitally important and newsworthy as this story.)

Your rating: None Average: 2.4 (7 votes)

Crusader Cat is allowed to wander openly around furcons despite publically and repeatedly calling for the persecution of homosexuals; Allan the same, despite obsessively embezzling both furries and the federal government out of thousands of dollars.

Why SHOULDN'T "actual psychos" regard themselves as welcome?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Let the bashing begin...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

From the story on hollandsentinel.com linked in the story ““Furries” are part of a subculture who believe they possess both human and animal characteristics.”

how does nobody ever get this right? It's like they don't even care about researching what they are talking about. And that description is more befit the were or therian community.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

>part hoars

ROFLCOPTER

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (4 votes)

HAHAHAH I live in Ottawa, I thought nothing interesting happened here. Good job proving me wrong. Delicious.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (9 votes)

"Tonight's sensational story: Murder witness had hobbies! Film at 11!"

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (3 votes)

It is kind of annoying how they choose to highlight some unrelated hobbies but not others. It is kind of like a self-fulfilling sensationalism, the hobby being even more unusual because they choose to highlight it as unusual.

It is not like they would take the time to mention other hobbies if they were unrelated, like if the person were a philatelist, a lepidopterist, or an avid Venture Bros. fan.

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (5 votes)

I guess then these are the big questions, if being furry is relevant to the case why is it? And if it not then why the hell did the question come up in the first place?

If one questions the relevancy of the story to the fandom, then one must also question why a prosecution staff would choose to bring that up in a murder trial. If our hobby is being used to discredit our testimonies, that's kind of relevant and important information. If the only thing that happened here was something that was irrelvant and isn't being used in a case came up then that's another thing. But there is ALWAYS a reason in the court of law if a lawyer is attempting to bring it up. It is not just some bar conversation. There is a reason she was asked about her hobby.

Whether it was to help her in presenting her case, or harm her reputation in the case, is unclear. But if it is the later, it isn't just some insignificant news story, it'd probably be one of the biggest blights of societal perception on the fandom, far worse then some Tyra Banks blowoff. Tyra Banks was just some bimbo with no real power or influence which is why she no longer has a show. However here we are talking about actual prosecutors. If being a furry is going to make your testimony useless in court, in the worse case scenario, a furry will never be able to obtain justice.

I highly doubt every jury would eat that up though, or every lawyer would do such a tactic, but it is something to be aware of, especially if you're a furry resident in Michigan who votes for the local DA who would allow such tactics to go forward if that is indeed the case.

Your rating: None Average: 2.1 (7 votes)

See, this comment is EXACTLY why 'furry matters'. This is the face that has people uncomfortable. The histrionic anger and rage and nonsense in your comment. You use big words in the hope of sounding rational and perceptive, but you come off sounding like a nutso blowhard who is all butt hurt over 'fursecution'.

Save it for people who suffer REAL discrimination. Look at the misogyny in your comment (furries are the hugest misogynists out there, just look at the art). Look at your rage. Look at your paranoia. Look at your hurt. Look at your reaction.

And now look at why people think being furry is a problem in society, why it is a big deal. Because you're not the only fur who freaks out when they feel slighted. Put your big boy panties on and deal with things.

Your rating: None Average: 1.3 (6 votes)

You use big words in the hope of sounding rational and perceptive, but you come off sounding like a nutso blowhard who is all butt hurt over 'fursecution'.

Yes, and you use naughty words in the hope of sounding witty and edgy.

Go away, please.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

I did not call Tyra Banks a bimbo because she was a woman, I called her a bimbo because she is in fact a bimbo, if she were a man, she'd still be a bimbo. I think anyone reading that comment, other then yourself of course would have gotten that much.

I don't give a shit when normal people reach misconceptions about others, when they are prosecutors or people making actual important decisions, that's a little different. And if they are electable I think it's important how those decisions reflect on how you should be making yours about if they deserve said position or not.

How this happens though has no bearing on me for I don't live in Michigan. But for those who live in that area it might be a good thing to keep an eye on.

Your rating: None

Except he isn't blowing this out of proportion? Do you have any inkling of how many victims have been blown off or damned in court over something trivial and unrelated to the actual case? Not that the woman is a victim in this case, but if being a furry is something lawyers are going to use in their arsenal now, it *will* be a problem. I don't think I need to remind you that the furry fandom overall doesn't have the best reputation, and that bit of knowledge could easily turn a jury against you if they're ignorant enough.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

As the anon that wrote the comment you replied to you, I agree that it is relevant that the media addresses her being a furry in this case, since it was pulled up in court. My previous post was more speaking in general, referring how there are many other news stories where it is the media that brings up unrelated interests and hobbies (furry being only one of many that seem to have such problems). In this case the defence attorney seems to fit the pattern, not the media reporting the case. The attorney may have a legit point, although the unhealthiness of an obsession would probably be more important to the case than the target of the obsession. But it could also be a misunderstanding or simply a cheap tactic.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

I wrote a letter to the editor. The definition of ""furry" is completely misstated.
I cringed at the following,
"'Furries' are part of a subculture who believe they possess both human and animal characteristics."

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Agreeing with this. I saw a similar statement in another article. Coverage of the fandom has improved a lot in recent years, so it's a little surprising when there's still some media that Just Doesn't Get It. It's like the difference between people who collect stamps and people who think they are stamps.

Your rating: None

He was my best friend :(

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

Jesus... I'm really sorry to hear about this. And the REAL story here is about a monumental injustice... that people seem not to have noticed, while nitpicking an insignificant hobby detail.

So, "Night Horse" called her ex-boyfriend to share a recording of sex. Her own statements and text messages make it crystal clear that it wasn't a sexual assault, but a tactic to create jealousy. Next day, she makes out with the ex-boyfriend, and says she wants to be with him again (despite his new girlfriend), and asks him to murder the other man. He does. Following the tragedy, she lies to police about having a relationship with the ex-boyfriend, and claims HE assaulted her too, while she was making out with him to entice him to murder.

After all that- the result is one man murdered man, and another sentenced to first-degree murder (he should be), following her wishes- and she leaves with ANONYMITY because of rape-shield laws, and NO CHARGES. That is heinous!

Her head belongs on a stake. Sorry guys, it has nothing to do with furry and the positive vibes we should have. It has to do with justice. Like stopped clocks, vigilantes are right sometimes.

Who is Night Horse, the selfish liar who destroyed two men?
a commission
a facebook profile
and one on FA forums

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

He can't use her as an excuse for murder. What kind of sick idiot are you to defend a murderer. I could tell people to murder on my behalf until I'm blue in the face, but only a murderer would do it. Only the mysogynist furry community would attack a rape victim and defend a male murderer. Sickening. No wonder people hate furries. No morals, no values, and justify murder and deny rape. Worse than animals, absolute monsters.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You appear to have missed the point where the commenter above says that Night Horse's ex-murderer deserves their sentence for first-degree murder. They are attacking Night Horse, not defending the person who committed the murder.

Your rating: None

Thank you. Charging this woman with accessory to murder would not be defending the other guilty party. Or Negligent homicide- "any killing resulting from negligence"- in this case, negligence to stop a crime she asked for. Or lying to police.

"During her testimony today, she admitted she had told Hambley that she should kill him so she would no longer feel jealousy."

Unfortunately it looks like they had weak prosecutors handling the case. The murder victim's family should be protesting about it. That isn't even starting to mention the pernicious cultural problems that enable violence by proxy. The law may make it tough to prove lying is a crime, but there's more than that here.

Is A Lie Just Free Speech, Or Is It A Crime? - yelling "fire" in a crowded theater is not free speech. Lying about one crime to pressure someone to commit another one presents a case for liability too.

At the very least, her name in headlines and a civil suit to follow her the rest of her life. Civil court has a different standard than criminal proof so it wouldn't need to prove the lying was a crime. It's how OJ Simpson ended up not-guilty of murder in criminal court, but owing everything he had after judgement in civil court.

Your rating: None Average: 1 (2 votes)

Women being furries should be no suprise to anyone. Ever been on Deviantart? Anytime you find a picture of a Warrior Cat, Check the Profile, most likeley it will be a female.

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