FRI-MON, 3/21-24/14, Issue 318
Angela Hardcorey to prosecute Keith Haring’s Ghost. State prosecutor Angela Hardcorey announced today she would bring the full weight of her office to bear against Kevin “Chip” Southworth, a.k.a. Keith Haring’s Ghost.
Southworth, the man who has been spray painting images à la Haring on traffic control boxes around Jacksonville, was arrested yesterday. At a hastily organized news conference this morning, Hardcory shouted, “These traffic boxes have been VIOLATED!” As the state prosecutor became increasingly agitated, evidently aroused by her own language, the assembled reporters contemplated either fleeing the room or invoking Stand Your Ground.
“Southworth won’t get away with this!” Hardcorey inveighed. “It’s just a shame he’s not still twelve years old. Then I’d really have a go at him! I’d lock him up in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for months on end. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that.”
Hardcorey displayed evidence recovered from the suspect’s home, including articles of clothing worn during media interviews and — most incriminating of all — pictures of the art captured on a cell phone. All items have been impounded downtown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, otherwise known as MOCA Jax.
Between August 15th and December 29th, 2013, eleven traffic control utility boxes were spray painted with images imitating Keith Haring’s iconic style. The amount of “damages” to the boxes was estimated at $1,100.
One reporter suggested Southworth should be paid, not jailed, for livening up an otherwise dull city. Hardcorey responded by pointing at him and quoting Shakespeare: “Off with his head,” she yelled, invoking a particularly trenchant line from the Bard’s 1593 drama, Richard the Third.
“We cannot tolerate anything to do with Keith Haring,” bellowed Hardcorey at the pool of cowed and increasingly terrified reporters. “A man like Haring who died of AIDS! Do we want his art on street corners for children to see? Who would dare deny Southworth wants our children to die of AIDS!”
Shrugging off allegations that she loses in court because she overcharges, Hardcorey announced Southworth would be indicted for wanton and reckless conduct creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to and sexual abuse of a child. If convicted, he would face a minimum of 30 years in prison and, once released, would have to register as a sex offender.