WARREN - A 31-year-old Hubbard man faces 18 months in prison after he returns to court Aug. 20 for sentencing on a series of charges linking him to the desecration of a military veteran's grave and the theft of a statue that he tried to scrap.
Richard Couturiaux of North Main Street remains in Trumbull County Jail after pleading guilty Tuesday before Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan to charges of receiving stolen property, vandalism and two counts of desecration, a misdemeanor.
Logan officially revoked Couturiaux's bond even though he has remained in jail since he and another man were arrested after the theft of a brass military statue stolen from an East Side Youngstown cemetery. Prosecutors say the pair intended to scrap the $36,000 statute for about $25.
The statue was broken off at the ankles in March. A Youngstown police officer tracked it down April 5 at a scrap yard in Warren.
The co-defendant in the case, Michael A. Cryster, 26, of West Ohio Street, Brookfield, has pleaded not guilty to the same set of charges. But Cryster, who was free on bond, has failed to appear in court and a capias, or bench warrant, was issued May 22 for his arrest by Judge Peter Kontos.
Couturiaux's sentence also will run concurrent with another case he was found guilty of in June. He was sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty of breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools and receiving stolen property after prosecutors said he tried to steal scrap material from a home in Hubbard Township last year.
Local veterans with American Legion Post 700 in Howland have followed the case and could deliver impact statements at the upcoming sentencing.
The hands, legs, rifle and other parts of the veteran grave marker were cut off the body of the statue when it was recovered. Other parts were found later in a Girard recycling yard.
The damaged 4-foot-tall statue was returned to the Mahoning Valley Memorial Park, where it was on display on Youngstown Hubbard Road.
The statue was close to 40 years old and cemetery officials said plans are to repair the statue rather than buy a new one because that would be cheaper.