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Newspaper Clippings for
February, 1987

Waukegan News-Sun4 February 1987
Cemetery vandals' sentence: dig graves
By Dick Tuchscherer, Staff Writer
Noting that from "time immemorial" society has always dealt harshly with those who desecrate graves. Lake County Circuit Judge Jack Hoogasian dealt severe sentences to six Lake County men found guilty of vandalizing Millburn Cemetery.
The sentences include three months in jail, two years intensive probation and digging graves at the century-old cemetery where they caused an estimated $100,000 damage Sept. 3.
"I think the statement is appropriate," said Lake County State's Attorney Fred Foreman. "The best way to stem such vandalism is to give them their own medicine right back."
Prosecutors George Strickland and Kimberly Buol said they were satisfied with Hoogasian's action.
Hoogasian found all six guilty of criminal damage to property following two bench trials in December.
Five of the men were found guilty in one trial. (Editor's note: names and addresses deleted from this presentation)
The sixth man, ______, was convicted at the second trial.
"I cannot understand why anyone, drunk or sober, would knock over tombstones," Hoogasian said.
He cited the severe penalties that were assessed in other countries, mentioning England and France and said even going back to ancient times penalties have always been harsh.
Hoogasian's sentence was the same for all six and calls for 24 months in the intensive probation program which is usually limited to 12 months. During the entire two-year period the men will be under constant surveillance, can expect visits from their probation officers at any time, especially during the first stage of the program, and must observe evening curfew hours.
The six will also serve jail sentences beginning Friday and lasting until May 10, about three months.
When their incarceration time is completed they will be transferred to the Lake County Work Release program until Sept. 6., but as soon as their jail sentences are completed they must start public service work, working 40 hours a week during the weeks of May 11 and May 18 at the Millburn Cemetery and from then until Sept. 6, they must spend eight hours each Saturday and Sunday working at the cemetery.
They will also be on call to do any grave-digging work at the cemetery on weekdays. if the cemetery requires their services. Such work would be credited toward their Saturday and Sunday hours.
In addition, the sentences include $500 fines plus court costs that must be paid by Dec. 25.
The six must attend alcohol evaluation programs and follow all recommendations.
The matter of restitution was reserved by Hoogasian until all the repair work is completed.
Witnesses testified at the trial that all six men toppled monuments and gravestones and a spokesman for a monument company said it costs $75 to $100 just to right a tombstone even if it is not damaged.
Hoogasian said he received a letter from a member of one of the families whose tombstones were damaged.
"Please don't pat them on the hand," he suggested in his letter which Hoogasian read at the sentencing. "Give them a severe sentence."
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