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County arrests and charges two juveniles for Shady Valley church vandalism

Shady Valley Presbyterian Church off Hwy. 421 and Winchester Rd. in Shady Valley was vandalized on the evening of May 27. A pair of Juveniles have been charged. Submitted photo.

By Tamas Mondovics

An investigation into the breaking and entering at the Shady Valley Presbyterian Church off Highway 421/Winchester Road will now result in charges against a pair of juveniles. In a press release, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday (6/1) morning that two juveniles have been identified as the person(s) responsible for the crime. On May 27, 2021, Johnson County deputies responded to the church after it was discovered that it had been broken into and vandalized. An attempt to set a fire near the rear of the church was also found.

“Through investigative efforts, the juveniles have been identified, and interviewed which subsequently will now lead to charges being placed in Johnson County after consultation with the District Attorney General’s Office,” JCSO said. “The juveniles’ identities are withheld at this time.”

Sheriff Eddie Tester said that the damage to the church was “approximately $20,000,” but “was an isolated case.”According to JCSO’s reports, after breaking into the church through a side window around 9 p.m. last Thursday, the two suspects drew anti-Christian messages that included swastikas built and formed out of bricks. A toilet in the church was also intentionally stopped up, which caused water damage in the downstairs area.

There was also evidence that a fire was built in the back of the church, but the rain from Thursday night has reportedly put it out. Officials said the only part of the church that did not sustain damage was the sanctuary, although trash was found left there. The investigation is ongoing. For questions, please contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 727-8353.