Suspect Charged with Desecration Of Churches

Posted at 7:35 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 20:37:15-04

Security video of a someone taping a piece of notebook paper to the front door of the Smithville Freewill Baptist Church led to charges being filed against a 57-year-old man, police said.

The video showed Laddie Bill Jerrells making an obscene gesture before he taped a piece of notebook paper to the front door of the church, police said. Jerrells, 57, of Long Street in Smithville was charged with harassment, disorderly conduct, vandalism and desecration of a venerated object (a church).

He was arrested Wednesday, July 5.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said in a press release Jerrells also targeted three other churches throughout the county, and nearby Covenant Baptist Church in Smithville.

Bernard Houk, pastor of Freewill Baptist Church, found the note. “It was very uncomplimentary toward Jesus,” Houk said.

Covenant Baptist pastor Bobby Thomason also found a note on the door of his church. “I wouldn’t dare repeat it to anyone else,” Thomason said. “I’m glad none of our children or anyone saw it.”

Jerrells is charged with 24 counts of misdemeanors. He was jailed and bond was set at $36,000.

“We understand that lost people do such things,” Thomason said. “We will pray for him.”

His next court date is July 20.