UPDATE: Suspect charged in Lincoln County vandalism spree
MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - An 18-year old Merrill man has been charged in connection with a months long investigation into multiple cases of vandalism in and around the City of Merrill.
Matthew Peterson made an initial appearance in Lincoln County Court Tuesday afternoon. He is charged with 12 counts of criminal damage to property and 12 counts of bail jumping. A judge set a $12,000 signature bond.
The investigation began in January when several young adults spray painted swastikas and other vulgarities on both private and public properties. In total, 17 separate cases were investigated. According to a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the damage began in the Town of Pine River and continued to Council Grounds State Park as well as the River Bend Trail area in the City of Merrill.
According to the press release, investigators from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Merrill Police Department worked together to develop leads and conduct interviews.
Charges are also expected to be filed against three other suspects. The other suspects include a 19-year old Merrill man, an 18-year old Merrill woman, and a 20-year old Merrill woman. They are all facing multiple counts of criminal damage to property.
Peterson’s next court date is November 18.
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