Deputies: church vandalism suspect had "no excuse"

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by KREM.com & Hayley Guenthner

NWCN.com

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 24 at 8:27 PM

SPOKANE -- The suspect in a Jan. 13 vandalism at a Medical Lake church appeared before a judge Wednesday.

Spokane County Sheriff's Office deputies said Joseph Knob broke into Lake Assembly Church and trashed it, committing one of the worst acts of vandalism they have ever seen.

Knob is accused of causing more than $50,000 in damage to the church. Glass vases were shattered, doors were ripped off their hinges, instruments and electronics were ruined, and hateful messages were written on the walls of the church. It took two dozen volunteers to clean up the mess.

Detectives said Knop confessed to the crime after a tip led them to his door. Knop lives a few blocks away.

“The suspect lives a block or two from the church and has absolutely no excuse for why he did it. He told detectives he was impaired, he was walking by the church, something triggered him,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

People at the church said they forgive Knop and offered to get him involved in church programs.

Just a week ago, Knop appeared before the same judge on separate charges of Second Degree theft and car theft. That day, the judge released him on his own recognizance. Wednesday, he set Knop’s bail at $10,000.

The church decided to hold its first services since the vandalism Wednesday night in the church gym.

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