Madison County

More than 200 gravestones vandalized at Richmond Cemetery

Vandals overturned and damaged more than 200 gravestones at Richmond Cemetery sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, according to Richmond police.

Assistant police chief Bob Mott said most of the vandalized gravestones were just overturned, but some were heavily damaged.

"Some of them have been actually pushed over the pedestal and are cracked or broken," he said.

The vandalism follows a similar case in 2010, when more than 100 gravestones were overturned at the cemetery, off East Main Street near downtown Richmond.

In that case, three people were found guilty of charges related to the vandalism, according to court records. Joseph Dewayne Combs of Richmond was sentenced to five years in prison. William Damien Gross of Richmond and Sara Elizabeth Smart of Waco were both sentenced to two years in prison.

"I don't think it was quite as significant as it is now," Mott said of the previous destruction.

It's unclear how much the latest episode of vandalism will cost. Mott said police and the cemetery are tallying the damage. Some of the gravestones date back to the 1800s, he said, so putting a value on them might be tough.

Police, who responded to a call from a cemetery worker a little after 8 a.m. Thursday, said they had no immediate suspects.

Police said anyone with information about vandalism at the Richmond Cemetery should call (859) 623-8911.