FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
ARKANSAS MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH STEALING MILITARY GRAVE MARKERS FROM BURIALS OF VETERANS: Jefferson County, Arkansas – April 19th 2013 – On Thursday, April 18, 2013 at approximately 3:17 p.m., Harold Matson Law (44) was booked into the W.C. “Dub” Brassell Adult Detention Center by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Deputies and held without bond for nine (9) counts of Destruction or removal of a cemetery or grave marker, a Class C Felony pursuant to Arkansas Criminal Code Annotated 5-39-401 and nine (9) counts of Theft of Property, a Class B Felony pursuant to Arkansas Criminal Code Annotated 5-36-103.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office authorities initially arrested Law on Thursday, April 4th 2013 after receiving information regarding Law traveling to KNK Auto Salvage located at 8221 Princeton Pike in Jefferson County, AR, where he attempted to sale nine (9) brass grave markers estimated to be worth $1,800.00 per marker. The strange encounter arouse the suspicion of the clerk, who then questioned Law about how he had come to possess the grave markers. Law alleged that he had been given the grave markers in lieu of money owed to him from an individual whom he had completed work for. Still concerned, the clerk turned to the internet, where she performed a general search for some of the names inscribed on the face of the markers. To the clerks surprise, it was learned that at least two of the names on the markers were names of veteran soldiers who were listed as having been laid to rest at Graceland Cemetery, a local cemetery in Jefferson County, AR. Through an on-going investigation by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigators along with the assistance of cermetery owners confirmed that the remaining markers were removed from burials of veterans laid to rest at the P.K. Miller Cemetery, also located in Pine Bluff, AR.
On Friday, April 19, 2013, Law appeared in a Jefferson County District Court before the Honorable Kim Bridgeforth, where a bond of $25,000.00 secure was set. Law remains in custody until bail is posted.
Photos of the markers were taken and arrangements have been made for the family of the deceased to reclaim the markers.