The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 2, 2013

Trial reset Feb. 24 for man charged with cemetery vandalism

By Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— The Falkville man facing three counts of first-degree criminal mischief for allegedly vandalizing Hatchett Cemetery is scheduled for trial on Feb. 24, 2014.

Robert Allen Muse, 22, of 1371 Wilhite Road in Morgan County, has been out on bail since being charged Nov. 26.

He previously was set for trial in September and this month with Circuit Court Judge James Woodroof presiding before the date moved again, according to court records.

Rescheduling is common for the crowded 39th Judicial Circuit docket in Limestone County.

Muse, who was 21 when he was arrested, is accused of vandalizing the cemetery in the Beulah Land community in southern Limestone in three successive weeks in November 2012.

Officials with Little Ezekiel Missionary Baptist Church, which maintains the 200-grave cemetery, said that approximately $17,000 in damages resulted from the repeated vandalism incidents.

Muse, who does not have a prior criminal record, according to Falkville Police, posted $75,000 bail in December after District Judge Jerry Batts lowered his original $150,000 cash-only bail.

Each count of first-degree criminal mischief is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.