Fulton police know 2nd Churchill suspect
Wed, 24 Jun 2009 03:39:34 GMT —
The William Woods student accused of vandalizing the Winston Churchill Memorial in Fulton is still behind bars - and his attorney says that's not fair.
The public defender for Victor Calderon, 24, says a second suspect's getting preferential treatment from police, a charge they deny.
Two weeks ago, Westminster College officials, along with Fulton police, held a news conference announcing Calderon's arrest. At the time, police said it was a "confidential informant" who ratted him out. But Calderon's attorney says that 'informant' was actually involved in the crime herself.
In court documents obtained by KRCG, police say a woman confessed to participating in the bizarre graffiti incident, calling her a "co-conspirator" who "admitted her involvement." The woman wasn't identified by name in the documents.
While the woman was allowed to walk free, police arrested Calderon the next day. His public defender says he's unfairly getting all the blame.
"People seem to be jumping to conclusions that he's the only one involved or the main actor," said Leah Williamson. "And I'm not sure that's the case."
The woman had an attorney with her when she was interviewed by police, according to Williamson. And while police let her go free, they arrested Calderon after she implicated him.
"Why [was] one person...allowed to leave and the other one was arrested and originally had a $35,000 bond?," said Williamson. "I don't think it's right for one person to be held responsible for all of it when there were two people possibly involved."
When police raided Calderon's apartment they found a pair of boots with silver spray-paint, that matched the graffiti at the 17th Century Church.
According to Williamson, the unidentified woman - the second suspect - is from Fulton and her family is well known in the community.
Police are staying tight-lipped about the woman's identity, and won't say why she wasn't arrested, citing an ongoing investigation. But Lt. Andre Cook, who handled the case, said "the second suspect is not getting any preferential treatment."
"She's not going free on this," said Cook. "She's going to have to pay for her indiscretions."
So far there's no word on if, or when, this woman might be arrested. Fulton police say there are still many facts about the case that haven't been released.
Authorities say Calderon, a resident of Houston, Tex., poses a "flight risk." His bond was recently lowered from $35,000 to $20,000.
If convicted, he could spend up to seven years behind bars.
The damage to the memorial is estimated at more than $5,000. The majority of the graffiti has been removed.