Suspects in church vandalism, thefts make first court visit

Friday, January 7, 2005

Two Cape Girardeau men accused of vandalizing and stealing from five local churches and a law office made their first court appearance Thursday.

Daniel Richard Rainey, 19, of 610 Red Bud Circle, and Erich C. Montgomery, 20, of 3002 Aspen Drive, Apt. C, both pleaded not guilty to 17 counts each, which included burglary, property destruction and theft. They are accused of vandalizing five area churches and a law office.

A third suspect, Billy Ray Fowler, 31, of 706 Fourth St., Scott City, pleaded not guilty to one count each of burglary, property damage and theft in connection with the break-in at the law office.

Rainey and Montgomery were charged Monday in connection with the break-ins at Freedom Rock, owned by Cape First Assembly of God Church, Grace United Methodist Church, Centenary United Methodist Church, Church of the Nazarene and the Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church, as well as the law office of Kevin Phillips.

The three are scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Jan. 27. All three remain in the Cape Girardeau County jail. Rainey and Montgomery are in jail in lieu of a $35,000 bond; Fowler's bond is $12,500.

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