Vandal suspect formally charged

Published 10:13 am Saturday, December 21, 2013

COURTLAND—A Wakefield man charged with vandalizing a church cemetery was arraigned Friday morning in Southampton County General District Court. Toney Allen Brock, 25, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28.

He was charged with intentional damage to a monument greater than $1,000, and injury to a permanent object of a cemetery, both considered felonies in this instance, and injuring plants in a church or cemetery, labeled a misdemeanor.

The burial ground is the Butts Family Cemetery on Old Hickory Road in Sebrell. On the evening of Sept. 29, Mindy Purvis of Courtland discovered the vandalism while visiting the grave of her mother, whose marker was undisturbed. About 17 gravesites were ruined either by markers broken or tipped over, and floral arrangements were scattered in several places; no graffiti was evident.

Southampton County Sheriff’s Deputy R. Colby responded to Purvis’s call and collected evidence at the scene.

Maj. Gene Drewery, spokesman said that evidence led to Brock’s arrest this past Monday. The suspect posted the $7,500 bond later that day.