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Man gets 5 years' probation for Augusta church vandalism

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A man charged with breaking 14 windows at an Olive Road church was sentenced to five years of probation Tuesday.

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The Rev. Ronald Wright, of Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church, stands in front of the newly installed glass doors. Carl Daniel, 29, received five years' probation Tuesday for breaking 14 windows at the church and adjoining school.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
The Rev. Ronald Wright, of Ebenezer Seventh-day Adventist Church, stands in front of the newly installed glass doors. Carl Daniel, 29, received five years' probation Tuesday for breaking 14 windows at the church and adjoining school.

Carl Daniel, 29, was charged with vandalism to a place of worship after a Richmond County sheriff’s deputy caught him running away from Ebenezer Seventh Day Adventist Church on March 18. The deputy described his demeanor that morning as “very aggressive,” and the deputy drew his weapon when he saw Daniel holding a brick.

“He was very, very tense,” Assistant District Attorney Geoffrey Fogus told Superior Court Judge David Roper.

Daniel’s attorney, Holly Chapman, said Daniel was having a psychotic episode after not taking his medication and that he is normally “mild-mannered, sweet and calm.”

“He didn’t even realize it was a church,” Chapman said. “He has a great respect for the church and God.”

Because of his schizophrenia and chronic paranoia, Daniel was under the belief that someone was trapped inside the building, Chapman said.

Roper said the six months Daniel has already served in jail was a sufficient amount of time and ordered Daniel to pay $4,000 in restitution.

Pastor Ronald Wright said when he arrived at the church that morning it looked like a hurricane had decimated the building. All of the windows in the church and the adjoining school were destroyed and shards of glass covered the carpet and furniture. Both buildings were eventually declared hazardous material zones because the finely ground glass posed a danger to the lungs. A big tent set up on a nearby property served as the church and the school until everything could be replaced and cleaned months later. The total bill was $86,000, although insurance covered most of it, Wright said.

Wright said Daniel was obviously not in his right mind when he saw him sitting in the back of a patrol car. The church has been praying for him since the incident.

“We just want him to get the help he needs,” Wright said.

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KSL 09/04/12 - 03:09 pm
What is to keep him from

What is to keep him from going off his meds again?

rmwardsr 09/04/12 - 06:18 pm
If he is competent enough to

If he is competent enough to understand what probation means, he will stay on his meds until his probation is over. Not one mention was made of his mental competency. Sounds like he got a slap on the wrist to me. According to the article he was ordered to pay $4,000.00 in restitution, but the total repair bill was $86,000.00. I feel sorry for this man if his mental condition is what the article implies, but he still performed a criminal act. Given these terms, I guess the next time he can kill somebody and get off scot free.

Patty-P 09/04/12 - 07:25 pm
It's pretty amazing how our

It's pretty amazing how our justice system works these days.

just an opinion
just an opinion 09/04/12 - 09:37 pm
Put him on the church yard crew for 10 years for free.

Bet he wouldn't show for the first day.

soapy_725 09/06/12 - 08:59 am
River City can hire a person on

welfare to give him his meds each and everyday for the duration of his probation. Or his probation officer could administer the meds, or the church or even better the judge.

There is no justice in River City. Lady Justice is no lady and she long ago removed here blindfold. The court system is a lottery game. Some win. Only a circus of clowns is constant.

soapy_725 09/06/12 - 09:00 am
Maybe a contract with the Kelly Brothers...

to see that probation rules are followed.

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