- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Three 17-year-olds from Montgomery are accused of using black paint to deface the Confederate Monument on the Capitol grounds.

Each of the three was charged with first-degree criminal mischief, a felony, said State Public Safety Director Chris Murphy. Police did not release the names of the three because of their ages.

Police who patrol the Capitol complex discovered on Nov. 11 that the hands and faces of statues on the Confederate Monument had been painted with black paint. Black graffiti saying “N.T. 11 11 31” was scrawled on the monument’s base.

Officials suspected the letters and numbers were a reference to Virginia slave Nat Turner, who was hanged on Nov. 11, 1831, for starting a rebellion.

Public Safety spokeswoman Martha Earnhardt said the case was being turned over to Montgomery County District Attorney Ellen Brooks to handle.

In response to the charges, Gov. Bob Riley said, “This was a senseless crime, and I applaud our investigators for their outstanding work.”