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The Carthage Press
  • 2 arrested in CJHS vandalism

  • Two Carthage men were arrested on Thursday and charged Friday with breaking into the Carthage Junior High School and causing $5,000 worth of damage on Wednesday.
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  • Two Carthage men were arrested on Thursday and charged Friday with breaking into the Carthage Junior High School and causing $5,000 worth of damage on Wednesday.
    The Carthage Police Department said Phillip Jordan Neese, 20, and Brandon Woods, 21, both of Carthage, were charged by the Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with one count each of second degree burglary.
    An officer at the Jasper County Detention Center said both men were still in custody late Saturday on bonds of $10,000 surety and $1,000 cash each.
    The Carthage Police Department said firefighters and police officers were called at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday to a report of a fire alarm at the school.
    A check of the building found no fire, but between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. staffers arriving to open the school found vandalism in the office, kitchen and other areas of the building.
    “Damage to the school was estimated at $5,000,” police said in a written release. “There is no evidence that student records or vital information was accessed during the burglary.”
    School was held on Wednesday but breakfast was served in the gymnasium. The office area and other affected parts of the school were closed to students and staff until after noon on Wednesday to allow officers to investigate and collect evidence.
    Carthage Assistant Police Chief Randee Kaiser said the two men appeared to have no motive for breaking into the school.
    He said the break in involved mostly property damage. He declined to say whether anything was stolen in the incident, saying that information was part of the investigation that is ongoing.
    A search of Jasper County Court records shows that both men are on five years of supervised probation after pleading guilty on separate occasions to second-degree burglary charges.
    Court records show the prosecutor’s office has filed a motion to revoke Woods’ probation, but they list no such motion for Neese as of late Saturday.
    No arraignment date had been set as of Saturday.

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