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Two boys charged with felonies in $200,000 Blount County church vandalism case

By Hope McAlee,


MARYVILLE, Tenn. ( WATE ) — Two 12-year-old boys were charged with felonies after the burglary and vandalism of a church and two homes in May, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office says.

On May 13, deputies responded to Smyrna Baptist Church on Howard School Road for a reported burglary vandalism. When they went inside, they saw major damage, the post said. The damage included pews and chairs overturned, broken windows, food thrown on the floors and walls, damaged bibles and books, a destroyed piano and organ, a flooded bathroom, and carpet that was destroyed by foam with a fire extinguisher.

The damage is estimated at $200,000, the sheriff’s office said.

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During the sheriff’s office’s investigation, evidence led investigators to the boys, one of whom lives near the church, as suspects. After investigators spoke with the boys and their guardians, BCSO said the boys confessed to vandalizing the church and two nearby homes between May 13 and May 20.

The sheriff’s department said the boys were both charged with:

  • Two counts of aggravated burglary
  • One count of vandalism $60,000 – $250,000
  • One count of vandalism under $2,500
  • One count of vandalism under $1,000

The boys were charged on May 23 and then appeared in county juvenile court on May 25. Police say that one boy was released into his mother’s custody, but the other was held for an additional week because of his behavior in court.

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BCSO says in addition to the arrests, the investigators also cited four boys ages 15 to 17 years old on May 20 in the burglary and vandalism of the Friends Church in Friendsville. The boys were cited with burglary and vandalism after they allegedly vandalized the church’s pavilion and broke into the kitchen, set off a fire extinguisher and broke ceiling fans and a microwave among other damages, the sheriff’s office said.

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