Man charged with property damage related to January graffiti on floodwall murals

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Willie Lee Douglas III, 18, of 721 N. Middle St., was charged Monday with felony property damage related to a January rash of graffiti defacing murals on the floodwall in downtown Cape Girardeau and two concessions stands in Arena Park.

Douglas is accused of "knowingly damaging" the property by spray painting the word "Chek" and "Checkville" in block letters on the mural, according to a probable-cause statement signed by Ricahrd K. Couch of the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

Douglas allegedly caused about $1,000 worth of damage to the structures, the statement said.

In addition to the words on the mural, he also added his own stick figures to the scenes depicted on the floodwall, and a "bulge" to a painting of a Civil War soldier, according to the sworn statement.

Douglas admitted to the unlawful artwork March 4 after police informed him he was suspected of scrawling the graffiti, the statement said.

According to Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle, the charge is a felony because the damage exceeds $750. Douglas was not in custody as of Monday afternoon, after Circuit Judge Benjamin F. Lewis issued a warrant for his arrest.

If convicted, Douglas faces a punishment ranging from probation to up to four years in prison.

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