Tahlequah Daily Press

April 1, 2013

Man pleads guilty in vandalism case

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — One of two Cherokee County men accused of going on a vandalism spree in the Moodys area last year has pleaded guilty.

Forrest D. Barnett, 19, entered a guilty plea in front of Special District Judge Holli Wells Wednesday. Barnett and 20-year-old Chase Aaron Shankle are charged with five counts of malicious injury to property.

Wells ordered an assessment to be done on Barnett and set his sentencing for April 17.

Shankle is free on a $10,000 bond and has pleaded not guilty. He is set to reappear in district court April 10 in front of Wells for a felony sounding docket.

Prosecutors allege the two men are responsible for thousands of dollars in damage inflicted to multiple mailboxes, fences and gates, and property of Lowrey School, including a soccer goal that was damaged, windows that were broken, and playground equipment that was set on fire.

Authorities said that after his arrest, Barnett admitted he was involved in the vandalism incidents in the Moodys area, though Shankle denied having a role in it.

The two became suspects after they were caught last December placing pallets and logs onto the road, where vehicles could hit the debris.