Man pleads not guilty to Ford grave vandalism

Grand Rapids
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of the people accused of vandalizing the gravesites of President Gerald R. Ford and his wife Betty Ford has pleaded not guilty.

Christian Johnson, 19, entered the pleas Monday in response to charges of malicious destruction of tombs or memorials between $200 and $1,000 and larceny less than $200.

The gravesite at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in downtown Grand Rapids was damaged March 27. One of the letters from the gravesite was removed. After police put out a release and video showing the incident, Johnson and co-defendant Alexis Brinkert came forward.

Johnson told the Grand Rapids Press that he didn’t know what the gravesite was and that he was sorry.

The Kent County Correctional Facility shows Johnson was booked Monday and then released on a personal recognizance bond. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a fine.

The young woman he was with when the vandalism happened had not been arraigned as of Tuesday. Brinkert, 18, faces a charge of receiving and concealing stolen property, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine.

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