Three people have been accused in two recent cases of vandalism at a Bessemer City cemetery. Nearly 50 graves were desecrated.
Gaston County police said the Bessemer City Memorial Cemetery on North 13th Street was vandalized on July 18 and again on Aug. 11, causing more than $6,000 in damage.
In the July case, police discovered that seven graves had been desecrated. Tombstones had been overturned and graffiti had been spray-painted on them.
A few weeks later, 42 graves were desecrated. Granite and marble tombstones were knocked down across the cemetery, police said. One cross monument broke after being overturned.
On Friday, police announced that Joshua Aaron Kimray, 23, of Gastonia, and Michael Dennis Fitzgibbons, 25, of Bessemer City, face charges of desecration of a grave, a felony.
Police said a third suspect, a male juvenile, also was involved in the Aug. 11 vandalism. His name was not released.
During the investigation, police learned of information connecting Fitzgibbons and Kimray to a burglary that happened July 18 at a home not far from the cemetery.
The pair also face charges of first-degree burglary and felony larceny.