THE Donald Trump fan accused of fatally shooting a woman during an alleged spat over a political sign in her front yard claims she was acting in "self-defense".
Angela Conijn, 55, was charged with second-degree murder over the death of Kamran Cohee, 32, of Arlington, Washington, who died after being shot in her head on Saturday, according to the Skagit County Coroner's Office.
At Conijn’s first court appearance on Wednesday, her attorney said the shooting was in self-defense, but the victim’s boyfriend Joshua Tryon denies that claim.
“Your Honor, this is a case of self-defense and defense of others.
"This is an absolute defense to the charges that are contained within there,” said attorney Brett Purtzer in Skagit County Court.
In response, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brandon Platter told the judge, “By both accounts, the assault had essentially stopped by the time Ms. Conijn fired the weapon.”
She is now being held on a $250,000 bond.
Tryon said he and Cohee were driving home after sledding Saturday, when they pulled off on Big Lake Road in Mount Vernon, to let some air out of their tires to help navigate the snow.
Tryon said he then saw a “Loren Culp for Governor” sign and grabbed it.
“I think I threw it in the back of my truck, and I hopped back in my truck,” he said.
According to court documents, Conijn and her husband, John, saw Tryon take the sign and confronted the couple.
“I should have left at that moment, but adrenaline was rushing,” Tryon admitted.
Tryon and Cohee both got out of the car and the fight continued. As the argument escalated, Conijn allegedly pulled out a gun and fired, killing Cohee.
“It never needed to come to a gun. I didn’t have a weapon, me and him were just fighting,” Tryon said.
Angela Conijn allegedly fired the weapon "towards the end of the driveway where the vehicle was located," according to police records.
Cohee was struck in the head, while standing on the driveway between the house and the car, according to Q13 Fox.
An online fundraiser for Cohee's funeral service says that on Saturday, February 13, "Kamran was out enjoying the snow when she was involved in an [alleged] altercation over a political yard sign.
"During this, the other party [allegedly] began to shoot at Kamran and her boyfriend. Kamran was shot and killed."
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Skagit County jail booking information, Conijn has been charged with second-degree murder.
Conijn, who recently graduated from beauty school, was employed as a hairdresser at La Conner Hair Design in her hometown, The Sun can exclusively reveal.
She specialized in cuts and color, according to a post on the salon's Facebook page.
"Look who is now available at LaConner Hair Design," the post from last year read.
"Angela Kamb Conijn is now working with us and we are so happy to have her here."
The salon's manager declined to comment when contacted by The Sun today.
The Skagit County Sheriff's Office was called to Conijn's home on Big Lake Road at about 5.25pm to reports of a fight, Fox 10 News reports.
Court documents say that Conijn’s husband, John Conijn, 58, told detectives he saw a car in his driveway "and believed someone was stealing his political sign."
That signage was in support of Loren Culp, the Republican nominee for Governor of Washington in the 2020 election, who lost to Democratic incumbent Jay Inslee.
Undersheriff Chad Clark told King 5 News that the force is used to getting complaints about political signs.
He said: "They come and go every election year. We get those kinds of calls – but not to this extent, to where there's gunfire and somebody's dead.
"The 58-year-old male who owns the residence goes out there to find out what's going on, got into a confrontation with the driver of the suspect vehicle.
"[It] ended up being a fight over the political sign that the male in the vehicle was trying to [allegedly] steal."
Court documents say both men told investigating deputies that they were fighting outside the house.
Yahoo News, citing the magistrate's warrant, says that Angela Conijn's husband allegedly came out of the house and, according to the driver, began filming or taking photos of him.
John Conijn – according to the court files – exited the house when he saw someone pull into his driveway, as he thought they were trying to steal the political sign.
Conijn claimed he was "chased back to his residence" and that Cohee and the man were allegedly bashing his door with a wheelbarrow, according to the court documents.
But the driver told cops he punched Conijn through the open window of their truck, reports King 5.
Angela Conijn then allegedly came out with a gun, the documents added.
Clark said: "The 55-year-old wife came out of the house, [allegedly] fired several rounds and the female that got out of the truck… was struck and killed."
Cohee and the Conijns are not believed to have known each other.
John Conijn was released from jail on bail after being charged with assault.
It's not known whether the man driving the truck will be charged with attempted theft of the political sign.
In a Facebook post, Cohee's aunt Carrie Troupe wrote that her "heart breaks".
"I had just seen my niece Kamran for her birthday and she sounded and looked so much better," Troupe said.
"She had been working hard to get her life back… I was so proud of her."
The GoFundMe fundraiser organised by Nichole Blades for the dead woman's funeral says: "As you can imagine our family and friends are devastated.
"Many know of Kamran's struggles and that she has been rebuilding her life for the better.
"All prayers are welcome and encouraged. We thank you for your patience and kindness during this heartbreaking time."
On Facebook, Cohee's sister, Kasey Dodge, posted about her shock over her sibling's sudden death.
She wrote: "I wasn’t planning on posting this yet due to the fact I’m still processing it.
"But, my family needs support right now. My oldest sister was shot and killed last night.
"Because this is very fresh on our hearts, please give me and my family time to grieve. Thanks in advance for all the love and support."
In response, Laura Taylor Hayward said: "I'm so sorry Kasey, I'm praying for you and your family! I lost my precious young cousin the same way."
The Coroner's report says: "The cause of death has been determined as gunshot wound of head and the manner is listed as homicide."
Conijn is scheduled to next appear in court on February 24.
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