Hopewell Cemetery
2010 Vandalism
Navarro, Navarro County Texas


Hopewell Cemetery

Two arrested for Navarro County cemetery vandalism
Posted on March 17, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Navarro County Sheriff's Department detectives say several people knocked over 82 headstones and grave markers at Hopewell Cemetery – some of them dating back to 1860.

Photo 1 | Photo 2 | Photo 3 | Photo 4 | Photo 5 | Photo 6 | Photo 7


NAVARRO COUNTY — The Navarro County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that two Corsicana men have been arrested in connection with the vandalism of Hopewell Cemetery.

Detectives took Adam Keith French and Michael Hansel Derryberry into custody. They were moved to the Navarro County Jail.

Investigators said several people knocked over 82 headstones and grave markers — some of them dating back to 1860.

"Any time you destroy something with history, you have to kind of take it personal and you want to find that subject,” Detective Hank Bailey said. “I take it personal when they destroy a cemetery like this."

For the past week, families near Corsicana have been inspecting the cemetery to see if their family plots were destroyed. Zane McCarter and her husband were moved to tears when they saw the damage.

"It's very devastating to know that we have people in our world who will do something like this to family," McCarter said.

Pete Goodin is organizing an effort to lift the toppled headstones back into place. His family has tended to the flowers and lawn at Hopewell Cemetery for three generations, but this damage is more than he can handle on his own.

"If I can get eight or 10 people here, we can pick up a lot of these smaller stones," Goodin said.

The heavier stones and memorial markers will need a professional monument crew to repair the damage and reset the stones. That will cost thousands of dollars; more than the Hopewell Cemetery Association can afford.

The work will also have to wait until summer for the ground to dry out, so heavy equipment won’t sink on the grave sites now soggy from winter rains.

Detectives said the mud helped in their investigation. The suspects left evidence at the scene, including tire tracks and shoe prints.

There were also dozens of beer cans lying on the ground.

Bailey said the damage could range from $50,000 to $100,000. He expects charges of felony criminal mischief to be filed once an arrest is made.

Goodin would like volunteers to help Saturday afternoon at the cemetery. The more muscle they can get this weekend, the more money they will save when the professionals arrive to repair the larger monuments.

E-mail [email protected]

Three Corsicana men have been arrested after vandalism at a cemetery damaged more than 80 tombstones and caused at least $50,000 in damage.
CORSICANA (March 18, 2010)

Adam Keith French, 19 and Michael Hansel Derryberry, 19, both of Corsicana, were arrested Wednesday on felony charges in connection with the vandalism at the Hopewell Cemetery in the western part of Navarro County.

Johnathan Lee Moore, 21, of Corsicana was arrested later in the day.

Earlier this month, vandals damaged or destroyed 80 grave markers in the cemetery, some of which date back more than a century.

Pete Goodin with the Hopewell Cemetery Association is urging volunteers to meet on Saturday at the cemetery to work on repairs.

Some of the broken tombstones date to the 1800s.

Detective Hank Bailey says the suspects in this month's vandalism were located based on items left at the scene, which indicated that there had been a party in the cemetery.

Bailey told the Corsicana Daily Sun that all three suspects are unemployed.

Preliminary damage estimates topped $50,000, but some investigators say the destruction could add up to twice that amount.


Vandals topple 100 tombstones at cemetery near Corsicana

11:20 AM CDT on Wednesday, March 17, 2010
By STEVEN R. THOMPSON / The Dallas Morning News

Navarro County detectives are investigating the vandalism of around 100 tombstones in a cemetery near Corsicana, some of them more than 100 years old.

Cemetery vandalized Tombstones in Hopewell Cemetery were toppled and smashed about a week ago. Pete Goodin, president of the cemetery association, said he learned about the vandalism on March 8, after a woman visited a relative buried there.

"It destroyed about a third of the cemetery," Goodin said. "I called the relatives of some of the people buried there, and they were just devastated."

Goodin said most of the damage was done in the older half of the cemetery. Three years ago, the association spent $3,000 to restore some of those stones that dated back to the late 1800s, he said.

He said he has seen vandalism at the cemetery before, but usually it only affected a couple of tombstones. Dozens of beer cans were found near the damaged tombstones, Goodin said.

"We are sort of isolated, so the high school kids like to come down and do a little partying," Goodin said.

Chief Deputy Mike Cox said that sheriff’s investigators are still looking into the crime, which would be a felony criminal mischief charge if someone is arrested. Cox estimated the damage at around $100,000.

The damage was hard to look at for Goodin, whose grandfather and parents are buried in the cemetery.

"You hear about this across the state of Texas from time to time, but you think 'Oh, maybe it won’t happen to me,' " Goodin said.

The Hopewell Cemetery Association is asking volunteers to come out to the cemetery on Saturday at 2 p.m. to help clean up and upright some of the lighter tombstones.



Navarro County TXGenWeb
© Copyright February, 2020
Edward L. Williams