Man sentenced in Tulsa cemetery vandalism

Tuesday, October 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A 20-year-old was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years of probation after pleading guilty to a felony and 13 misdemeanors connected with the vandalism of gravesites of Jews at a Tulsa cemetery in August.

Jonathan Brian Duke pleaded guilty to malicious injury to property -- the felony -- and misdemeanors including 10 counts of injuring gravestones and monuments and a count of malicious intimidation and harassment based on religion, ancestry and national origin.

As part of his plea bargain, 79 other gravestone-injury misdemeanor counts were dismissed against Duke.

Duke was one of two men accused in the Aug. 25 vandalism at Rose Hill Memorial Park.

Action involving the charges against his co-defendant, 18-year-old Dillon Garrett Bell of Tulsa, was postponed until Friday.

Bell's lawyer, Robert Ridenour, indicated Monday that he thinks Bell's case also will be resolved in a plea negotiation.

Five of the seven years of prison time Duke was given by District Judge Linda Morrissey had to do with a March auto burglary that Duke pleaded guilty to in July.

Prosecutors contended the crimes at the cemetery violated the probation he got in July.

As part of Duke's plea deal, he must serve 10 consecutive six-month suspended sentences for injuring gravestones and monuments.

After he is released from prison and begins his probation, Duke must pay $8,254.50 in restitution for the vandalism.

Duke also must pay $1,625 in fines and victims' compensation assessments and some additional court costs.

He also will have to perform 80 hours of work that Morrisey said will require him to "groom and maintain" property at a "burial ground" of "some ethnic origin."

Duke also pleaded guilty to misdemeanors of resisting arrest and public drunkenness, which were linked to the cemetery vandalism.

A separate two-count misdemeanor was also resolved in the plea agreement, with Duke pleading no contest to malicious injury to property and assault and battery for a June incident in which Duke allegedly hit a man with a paintball fired from a sling shot and also fired paintballs that struck a house and car owned by another man. Police reported that Duke yelled anti-gay slurs during that episode.

For those latter four counts, Duke received concurrent jail terms of varying lengths that will not increase his time in custody.

Defense attorney Tim Pool has the option of asking Morrissey to review Duke's sentence and consider modifying it some time during the next 12 months.