Four 'slingshot vandal' suspects get August court dates

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Four of the five defendants who became known this past spring as the "slingshot vandals" were given continued court dates Monday.

Chad R. Burton, 18, Lawrence F. Kenkel, 20, both of Cape Girardeau, Jeffrey L. Farris, 19, of Olive Branch Ill., and Jared M. Klein, 18, of Thebes, Ill., all appeared for a case review Monday before Judge John Heisserer, who ordered them to return to court Aug. 9. All have pleaded not guilty to felony property damage.

Earlier Judge Gary Kamp dismissed a felony charge against the fifth suspect, Ian C. Kroeunung, 19, of Cape Girardeau. Bollinger County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Gray, who was appointed special prosecutor, said he plans to refile misdemeanor charges against Kroeunung. Gray said he originally filed a felony charge against Kroeunung lumping the cost of three broken windows into one to make it a felony amount, which Kamp disallowed.

The five were arrested March 10 after they were caught on videotape buying a slingshot with two cases of 3/8-inch slingshot ammunition from Wal-Mart at 3439 William St. in Cape Girardeau. About an hour later, police began getting numerous reports of windows in businesses and vehicles being damaged by steel ball bearings.

Police said at the time that they suspect the five are linked to similar property damage cases in Cape Girardeau and Jackson dating back to December.

Gray was appointed special prosecutor because Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle was a victim. His car window was believed to be one of the ones broken.

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