Three teenagers charged in early August with damaging tombstones at the Mount Vernon Memorial Cemetery are now facing additional charges for vandalism at the Iowa City Public Library. Iowa City Police Sergeant Denise Brotherton announced the charges Wednesday. Surveillance video of the teens spray painting an outside wall of the library on April 25th was released to the public in July. Brotherton says it was the video, not the cemetery case, that cracked the case.
“At the time, when those juveniles were charged with (the Mount Vernon) crime, we were not actively charging them in ours,” Brotherton said. “Ours came about afterwards and it was due to some crimestopper tips.” The three 16-year-old boys from Cedar Rapids are charged with second-degree criminal mischief for the damage at the cemetery, which was discovered July 8th.
The same boys are now charged with fifth-degree criminal mischief for the damage at the Iowa City Public Library. In Mount Vernon, police chief Mark Winder says the cemetery vandalism produced a large amount of damage. A bench valued at $12,000 and 56 tombstones were damaged in some way.
Winder says the teenagers connections with people in Mount Vernon led to the charges. “Someone overheard somebody talk about it and that helps,” Winder said. The teens are identified as Austin Ferch, Anthony Hodges and Kaleb Wilcox.
By Chris Earl, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids