Columbus man accused of vandalizing churches explodes in court - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus man accused of vandalizing churches explodes in court

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -
A Columbus man accused of vandalizing several Columbus churches exploded in court Monday morning.

James Morris, 25, repeated "I am a man of God" before erupting in anger. Deputies and officers quickly wrestled him to the ground. 

Morris pleaded not guilty to six felony charges of vandalism. He is accused of causing thousands of dollars in damages to six south Columbus churches.  

Detective Thomas Hill with the CPD Property Crimes Unit testified Morris smashed through the windows and doors of the churches causing over $2,000 in damages.

"He used a large piece of concrete anywhere from 15 to 25 pounds," Det. Hill testified. 

Hill testified he believed the boulders used in the vandalism were taken from Valley Health Care on Ft. Benning Road. 

It was through tips from pastors at  three of the churches, New Life House of Prayer Ministries, Twelve Disciples Baptist Church and Crown of Glory Outreach Ministries, that Det. Hill testified he was able to pinpoint Morris as a possible suspect. 

Hill testified on April 12, he went to Morris' home Morris shares with his sister on Bowmans Street in Columbus.

Hill says Morris' sister informed him Morris had just got out of treatment at West Central Hospital and was a patient at New Horizon's for mental health treatment. 

Detective Hill testified Morris has terrorized churchgoers at New Life House of Prayer Ministries, Twelve Disciples Baptist Church and Crown of Glory Outreach Ministries before the vandalism. 

"He has come on the church property and been asked to leave before. He's been verbally confrontational with members of the church," Dt. Hill testified.  

The vandalism at all six churches occurred overnight between Saturday April 5 and Sunday 6. Hill said Morris attended service at  Crown of Glory Outreach Ministries before going on the attack.

"The pastor said that he didn't create any problems at that time but that he did make a note that he was there.  Because he did create problems in the past," Det. Hill added. 

Morris was also allegedly caught on video throwing the rock into one of the churches and running back towards his home.

Morris' bond was set at $15,000. The case is bound over to Superior Court but has a possibility of being transferred to Mental Health Court.

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