Crime & Courts

Davidson man accused of vandalizing Confederate monument in Cornelius

The Confederate Monument in Cornelius was vandalized on Aug. 13.
The Confederate Monument in Cornelius was vandalized on Aug. 13. dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

A 26-year-old Davidson man is accused of defacing a Confederate memorial in Cornelius this summer.

Davidson Police charged Maxwell Montague Sommer with misdemeanor injury to real property. Sommer is free on $1,000 bail pending an Oct. 9 appearance in Mecklenburg County Criminal District Court, court records show.

The memorial was defaced on Aug. 13 with an “X” in blue spray paint over the words “Our Confederate Soldiers.”

The memorial, an obelisk topped by the statue of a soldier, is privately owned by the Mt. Zion Monumental Association. A police report estimated the damage, which was discovered Aug. 14, at $1,500.

The Cornelius monument was one of three local memorials that were previously vandalized in mid-2015, in the weeks after white supremacist Dylann Roof massacred nine people at an African-American church in Charleston.

Sommer did not return a phone message left by the Observer on Tuesday.

Sommer is a graduate of North Mecklenburg High School who studied history at both UNC-Charlotte and the University of Heidelberg in Germany, according to Cornelius Today, which on Tuesday first reported his arrest.

Sommer was arrested on Aug. 30, court records show. Police never issued a news release announcing the arrest “due to the victim not wanting to call additional attention to this incident,” Cornelius Police spokeswoman Betsy Shores said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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