Rhode Island cemetery worker to plead guilty to stealing tombstones

RHODE ISLAND (NBC News)- A former employee at a Rhode Island veterans cemetery has agreed to plead guilty to plundering hundreds of headstones and using them to line the floor of his garage, according to court documents.

Kevin Maynard, a former worker at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, was arraigned Monday in federal court. He is expected to plead guilty to theft of government property, the documents said.

Maynard, 59, used at least 150 grave markers to line the floor of a shed and two makeshift garages at his home in Charlestown, authorities said. Many of the headstones were still inscribed with the names of the dead, according to a federal affidavit.

Two employees of the cemetery told Rhode Island State Police that Maynard bragged about removing the granite gravestones from the cemetery and using them in his home, according to the affidavit. One co-worker visited Maynard’s house and reported seeing a vehicle parked on top of as many as 75 memorial gravestones.

In one carport, investigators discovered a red late-model Ford parked on top of the gravestones, many of which were cracked.

Maynard told state police and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that he has personally driven gravestones to the granite crushing facility as part of his duties at the cemetery.

Investigators found additional gravestones on his property as well as a box of American flags allegedly stolen from the cemetery, according to a statement from Jim Martin, a spokesman for federal prosecutors.

WJAR reported that Maynard resigned after the cemetery learned he had stolen the markers. His lawyer, Kevin Bristow, told the station that the stones were held and maintained next to a dumpster at the cemetery.

“Bottom line is he made the determination that he knew they were going to be destroyed anyway, so he simply took them,” Bristow said.

Maynard was released with an unsecured bond of $10,000 bond.

The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison, but Maynard is expected to serve a year of probation and 500 hours of community service.

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