Two Georgia men – one nicknamed “Bubba” – have been charged in a recent grave-robbing incident in which the corpses of five Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers were dug up.
Jerry Atkinson and Ralph Hillis Jr., both of Waynesboro, Ga., could get up to five years in the hoosegow if convicted of “malicious removal of the dead from a grave.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Hillis goes by the nickname “Bubba.” He was arrested last week, but Atkinson remained at large, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office
However, Burke County deputies did a search Atkinson’s home and discovered a methamphetamine lab, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The cemetery is in a secluded location and has been a burial site since the 1700s.
It is believed the suspects were searching for relics such as buttons off the uniforms the soldiers may have buried in.
The desecration of the soldiers’ graves along with that of an infant at Old Church Cemetery in Burke County was discovered April 13 when Roy Bell, the commander of American Legion Post 120, the memorial’s caretaker, went to the burial grounds to mow the grass.
Parts of an old uniform were found on the ground and debris from the graves was strewn about.
A $2,000 reward generated a number of solid leads to police, the Chronicle reported.
Members of American Legion Post 120 have temporarily sealed the graves with sheets of aluminum and formed a work committee to permanently rededicate the sites, the publication added.
(Top: Desecrated grave from Old Church Cemetery, Waynesboro, Ga. Photo Credit: WJBF-TV.)