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Sheriff James R. Metts

Major John Allard, PIO Office, 785-2415, 24-Hour Press Box: 799-2001, Ext. 1100

Detectives Arrest Three Men for Vandalizing Mausoleum

Lexington County Sheriff’s Department detectives on Friday, December 6 arrested three men on charges that on November 27 the three men defaced and vandalized the interior of a mausoleum as well as a monument on a burial ground outside the mausoleum at Bush River Memorial Gardens at 5400 Bush River Road near Irmo.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives arrested Mason David Farris, 18, of 469 Crystal Creek Circle, Chapin; William Austin Saylors, 22, of 29 Forestgate Court, Columbia; and Jerry Wayne Wilson, 18, of 311 Connie Wright Road, Irmo. Detectives arrested Farris, Saylors and Wilson on arrest warrants on charges of third-degree burglary and vandalizing a human burial ground.

Farris was being held on Monday, December 9 at the Lexington County Detention Center on bail totaling $10,000, Metts said. Saylors was released from the county Detention Center on Saturday, December 7 after Saylors posted bail totaling $10,000. Wilson was released from the county Detention Center on Sunday, December 8 after Wilson posted bail totaling $10,000.

Arrest warrants allege that at about 6 p.m. on November 27 Farris, Saylors and Wilson knowingly, willfully and without proper legal authority defaced and vandalized the interior of the mausoleum at Bush River Memorial Gardens and defaced and vandalized the lawn and a monument at the burial grounds, causing about $6,000 in damages, Metts said.

Deputies responded to a call about the vandalism on November 27 and found that the seats of three chairs had been cut inside the mausoleum, Metts said.

Deputies also found that the butts of cigarettes and cigarettes ashes as well as flowers and several flower vases had been thrown on the floor in several areas inside the mausoleum, Metts said. The face of Jesus Christ also was broken out in a large stained-glass window. Officers also found the dust jacket for the book “Killing Jesus” by Bill O’Reilly on the floor, along with an identification card for Farris. One gold pole at the mausoleum had been bent.

On the burial grounds, one granite bench had been knocked over and damaged, Metts said. It appeared that a motor vehicle had been used to hit and damage the granite bench.

The motive for the incident remains under investigation, Metts said.


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