GA lawmaker wants to make vandalizing any grave a crime

GA lawmaker wants to make vandalizing any grave a crime
"I think a cemetery is a sacred place," said Sen. Kirk. (Source: WALB)
"I think a cemetery is a sacred place," said Sen. Kirk. (Source: WALB)
Sen. Greg Kirk said teens vandalizing fallen Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr's grave led him to want to change the code. (Source: WALB)
Sen. Greg Kirk said teens vandalizing fallen Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr's grave led him to want to change the code. (Source: WALB)
Officer Nicholas Smarr, and Officer Jody Smith (Source: Facebook)
Officer Nicholas Smarr, and Officer Jody Smith (Source: Facebook)

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia lawmaker said he hopes new legislation will make it a crime for people to vandalize any grave in the state.

Right now, the Georgia Code states that if someone defaces, mutilates, or defiles a grave or memorial to someone who served in the military, it is criminal trespass.

However, the code doesn't say anything about any other graves.

Senator Greg Kirk of Americus said an incident of teens vandalizing fallen Americus Police Officer and Marine veteran Nick Smarr's grave led him to want to change the code.

"What about the child that died in childhood and never had the opportunity to serve? And, what about people who just, for whatever reason, weren't able to serve or didn't serve in the military?" Sen. Kirk asked. "I think a cemetery is a sacred place, and to go and see that your loved one's grave has been disturbed is very disheartening."

The 2018 legislative session begins Monday, January 8, in Atlanta.

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