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First suspect arraigned in Cathedral vandalism case
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First suspect arraigned in Cathedral vandalism case

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The first suspect arrested in connection with the May 17 vandalism to the Cathedral of St. Helena and other locations has been arraigned in district court. 

Durbin W. Tabb

Durbin W. Tabb

Durbin W. Tabb, 21, of Helena, was arraigned in the court of Judge Mike Menahan on Tuesday. Tabb was the first of five people arrested in connection with the vandalism. His vehicle had been matched to a suspect vehicle caught on surveillance video in the area of the vandalism. He was charged with felony criminal mischief and felony malicious intimidation.

Tabb was later released on his own recognizance by Justice of the Peace Mark Piskolich. Tabb has a jury trial set for Oct. 25 at 9 a.m. with his final pretrial hearing set for Sept. 29. 

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Lane Dewey Chapman

Another individual arrested in the case, 19-year-old Lane Dewey Chapman, has yet to appear in district court. Charged with felony criminal mischief, felony malicious intimidation and felony desecration of a Capitol or place of worship, Chapman is expected to be arraigned in district court on June 15. 

Chapman was arrested after text messages between him and Tabb were found on Tabb's cellphone. Chapman appeared before Justice of the Peace Michael Swingley and bail was set at $25,000. Chapman was released on bond May 27, just a day after his arrest. 

Alexander Pomerleau

Alexander Pomerleau

A third adult suspect, 19-year-old Alexander Pomerleau of Helena, has yet to have any arraignment date set in district court. Pomerleau was arrested on June 2 and was charged with felony criminal mischief, felony malicious intimidation and felony desecration of a Capitol or place of worship. 

Pomerleau was identified through interviews with multiple co-defendants held between May 19 and June 1. Several of these individuals identified Pomerleau as being involved. After being interviewed, Pomerleau admitted to spray-painting the Cathedral and on some vehicles. 

Pomerleau appeared before Judge Piskolich and bail was set at $10,000. Pomerleau posted bail the following day. 

In addition to the three adult suspects, two juveniles ages 15 and 16 were also arrested in connection with the case. The 16-year-old was charged with felony criminal mischief, felony malicious intimidation and felony desecration. It is unclear what the 15-year-old was charged with and no further information is publicly available due to the age of the defendants. 

According to Helena Police Department Lt. Jayson Zander, there are no other suspects in the case. 

The Cathedral of St. Helena was spray-painted on May 17 with many symbols and messages that police characterized as anti-religious. Phrases such as "god is dead" and symbols such as pentagrams were painted on the building. Damage to the historic church was expected to be somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

Other buildings and some vehicles were also painted that evening. Police estimated the total damage to other properties could equal more than $10,000. 

This was not the first time that at least some of these suspects were involved in vandalism cases. Both Tabb and Chapman were implicated and admitted to their involvement in vandalism cases that occurred in February and April of 2021. Damages in those cases totaled more than $1,500. 

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