Kevin Maynard, 59, of Charlestown, R.I., an employee at the Rhode Island Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Exeter, R.I., has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to stealing granite gravestones and other items from the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery for use at his home as garage and shed flooring, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Jeffrey Hughes, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General (VA OIG), Northeast Field Office; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
According to court documents, it is alleged that over a lengthy period of time Maynard removed worn or broken grave markers from the cemetery and brought them to his Charlestown residence. On April 23, 2015, a VA-OIG agent and Rhode Island State Police detective accompanied Maynard to his home where investigators discovered at least 150 veterans’ grave markers being used as flooring for a shed and two make-shift garages. Investigators also located additional markers on the property and a box of American flags allegedly stolen from the Veterans’ Cemetery.
According to Government regulations, all Government-furnished headstones/markers/ medallions remain the property of the United States Government in perpetuity and that the “destruction, mutilation, defacement, injury, orremoval of any monument, gravestone, or other structure within the limits of any national cemetery is prohibited.”
According to court documents, Maynard will plead guilty as charged by way of an information with theft of government property. Maynard is scheduled to be arraigned before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on July 13, 2015.
An information is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.