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Second Helena vandalism suspect appears in court

Sunday night vandalism damages estimated at over $10,000
Posted at 2:36 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 16:42:49-04

HELENA — A second suspect charged in connection with last week’s string of vandalism in Helena appeared in court Wednesday.

19-year-old Lane Chapman of Helena is accused of spray-painting the Cathedral of Saint Helena, along with other buildings, cars and signs, on the morning of May 17. He is charged with desecration of a place of worship, as well as a count of either felony criminal mischief or malicious intimidation or harassment.

Lane Chapman

Helena police reported at least five buildings and 10 vehicles were defaced, including those belonging to residents and staff at Touchmark Retirement Community. According to court documents, the graffiti included symbols and vulgar imagery – and at the Cathedral, anti-religious phrases. Documents say the total damage was estimated to be more than $10,000, including $3,000 to $5,000 to the Cathedral alone.

The first suspect in the case, 21-year-old Durbin Tabb, was arrested last week.

Court documents say Helena police obtained a search warrant for the first suspect’s phone, and that they found a text message between him and Chapman that indicated Chapman had been at the cathedral and participated in the vandalism. They say the message was sent shortly after someone saw the group spray-painting the cathedral and shouted at them, causing them to flee the area.

According to court documents, officers detained Chapman, and he admitted to vandalizing the cathedral and other locations.

Chapman is also charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief for breaking a car window in February.

On Tuesday, Justice of the Peace Mike Swingley set Chapman’s bail at $25,000.