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FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2007
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Defendants to pay for destruction at Catholic church

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

Four people who destroyed a century-old altar at Annunciation of The Lord Catholic Church in 2005 will pay $11,958 for the destruction.

The cases against two couples who went to the church on Oct. 2, 2005, ended with the sentencing of one of the defendants.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Sherrie Paler sentenced Emily Loughman, 22, to two years in prison but suspended the sentence and placed her on probation, according to a court official.

As were the other defendants, Adam Turgeon, 27 and Lisa Wagner, 26, Loughman was ordered to pay $11,958 in restitution. Punishment and restitution for her husband, Van Eugene Loughman is unknown because the judge granted him youthful offender status.

Emily Loughman, Wagner and Turgeon are responsible for paying the amount jointly and separately, so that if one doesn't pay, the other will, an official explained.

The three defendants pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mischief.

Turgeon received a 10-year split sentence earlier this year and must serve 18 months in prison. Wagner received a 10-year split sentence and had to serve 60 days in the county jail. Each will be on probation for five years after incarceration is complete.

Reportedly, the couples went to the church and disrupted Mass. Two of them jumped from their seats and went near the priest screaming that Catholics worship idols. One of the defendants went behind the marble altar and shoved it down the steps, smashing it.

The couples lived in Hartselle at the time.

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