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Man Accused Of Church Vandalism Found Incompetent

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(credit: Buffalo Police)

(credit: Buffalo Police)

(credit: CBS) Edgar Linares
Edgar Linares moved to the Twin Cities 24 hours before the largest...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The man accused of vandalizing six churches in the Buffalo area has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

A Wright County Judge has moved Wade Murray, 30, from jail to a mental health facility.

“He has been deemed incompetent to go forward in his criminal case,” said Elizabeth Larson, Assistant Wright County Attorney.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports

Murray is accused of causing more than $7,500 worth of damage to six Buffalo area churches. Investigators say last September Murray broke doors and threw rocks through stained glass windows at six churches. He’s also accused of leaving offensive messages and posters regarding religion and homosexuality.

The churches affected by the string of vandalism were: St. Francis Xavier, Zion Lutheran, 7th Day Adventist, Buffalo Presbyterian, Buffalo United Methodist and Hosanna Lutheran.

Investigators say Murray explained that he was motivated to commit these acts due to his anger with God over personal issues. He told police God and Jesus were “talking to him” and they wanted him to “hurt people.”

“He receiving some mental health care at this point,” said Larson. “The case is essentially suspended for six months to see how he does.”

Murray faces a felony charge of first-degree property damage. The maximum penalty upon conviction would be five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

“If he can become competent at a later date we can go forward,” said Larson.

A review hearing on his competency has been set for May 29.

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