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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bond set for suspect accused of vandalizing, burgling church

The man accused of what sheriff’s deputies have called the worst case of vandalism they had ever seen appeared in court Wednesday for the second time in as many weeks.

Joseph D. Knop, 23, faces charges of second-degree burglary and first-degree malicious mischief in the vandalism of Lake City Assembly of God church in Medical Lake.

Prosecutors asked Judge James Triplet to set bond at $25,000, arguing Knop appeared in Triplet’s courtroom just last week on charges of second-degree theft and was released on his own recognizance. Defense attorneys for Knop argued he should be released because he has never been charged with a violent crime and has never failed to appear in court.

Between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. overnight Saturday, someone smashed out several windows and kicked open 10 doors at the church, according to court documents. Knop is accused of writing graffiti on the walls with markers, pouring coffee over musical equipment and electronics, and spraying a fire extinguisher.

The owner of the trailer park where Knop has been living noticed two packages of coffee and a hatchet with duct tape on the handle Monday morning between two trailers. She heard about the vandalism at the church and turned in the coffee and the hatchet to police, according to the documents.

Knop admitted taking property from the church before he was arrested and booked into jail, court documents say.

Knop violated conditions of his previous release by committing a crime, Triplet said.

“I’m not going to make that mistake a second time,” Triplet told Knop. He ordered Knop’s bond set at $10,000.

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