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Decatur man judged fit to stand trial on multiple counts of criminal damage

Decatur man judged fit to stand trial on multiple counts of criminal damage

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DECATUR — Travis C. Stewart, the man prosecutors accuse of being a one-man criminal damage crime wave in Decatur, is now certified by a doctor as mentally fit to stand trial.

Stewart is pleading not guilty to smashing windows in the Decatur Civic Center and the Keil Building administrative offices of the Decatur School District on July 4.

Police at the time said they suspected Stewart had also smashed windows in the iconic Transfer House and the downtown Salvation Army headquarters the same night, although damage to those buildings is not listed in the current charges.

Prosecutors claim, and Stewart denies, that he followed up the window damage the next night, July 5, by going out and slashing some 20 tires on vehicles parked downtown. Altogether, Stewart faces more than 10 criminal damage charges and also denies an earlier charge of criminally damaging a Macon County Sheriff’s Department squad car by puncturing its tires on Jan. 13.

After considering the medical report on Stewart at a hearing Tuesday, Macon County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Griffith ruled he was fit to stand trial. The judge then scheduled a jury trial on the criminal damage involving the squad car for Nov. 16. Griffith scheduled the other charges against Stewart for a status hearing at the same time.

Stewart, 36, remains in the custody of the Macon County Jail with bail set at $2.128 million, meaning he must post $203,860 to be released.

The Decatur man made headlines in December when he was sentenced to 24 months probation after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal defacement of property. He had been arrested after spray painting the word “Traitor” in the lobby of Decatur Police Headquarters and the Macon County Courthouse.

Stewart had taken a plea deal at the time that covered multiple acts of vandalism. In addition to the spray-painted buildings, he had smashed windows and filled locks with glue at the Decatur Bicycle Shoppe, 1230 E. Pershing Road.

Sworn Decatur police affidavits said that rampage was sparked after Stewart had gotten into a dispute with the bicycle shop staff. He had also gone on to spray paint messages on the Heritage Behavioral Health Center downtown and on a building on the Decatur Memorial Hospital campus.

Defense attorney Susan Moorehead has filed a motion to reduce Stewart’s bond and Griffith allotted that for a hearing on Oct. 22.


Mug shots from the Herald & Review 

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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