The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

May 6, 2013

Accused cemetery vandal formally charged

By Jean Cole

— A man accused off vandalizing a southern Limestone County cemetery last year has been formally charged with the crime and is awaiting a trial date.

Court records show a Limestone County grand jury on April 11 indicted Robert Allen Muse, 22, of 1371 Wilhite Road, Falkville, on three counts of first-degree criminal mischief. He was initially charged Nov. 26, 2012, on the same three counts. First-degree criminal mischief is a Class C felony punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison.

Muse is accused of vandalizing Hatchett Cemetery three times in November 2012. The plot, which is located in the Beulah Land community of southern Limestone County, sustained about $17,000 in damages Nov. 8, 15 and 23, when many of the 200 gravestones were chipped, scratched, uprooted or smashed.

As a condition of the $75,000 bail bond secured by his parents, the court has barred Muse from entering the county except for court hearings, from staying out past 8 p.m. nightly and from riding his motorcycle until the case is resolved.

Muse’s court-appointed attorney is Garry Clem of Athens.