Police: Teens Confessed To Cemetery Desecration And Library Theft
Published: October 24th, 2008
By: Tyler Murphy

OXFORD – Police said the three Oxford teenagers arrested for desecrating a Catholic cemetery and breaking into the library signed written confessions and were apologetic to investigators.

Oxford Village Police Chief Richard Nolan confirmed that all three suspects in the case made oral confessions to the crimes before signing written statements admitting their roles.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office and Oxford PD began investigating the crimes last Thursday after library staff reported a break in and a missing wishing well that contained between 20 and 30 dollars in change. Later that same day, a woman walking her dog discovered the toppled graves at St. Joseph’s Cemetery and called the police.

Police arrested Devan Ellsworth, 18, of Greene Street, and two other suspects, ages 16 and 17, whose names were not released.

Nolan said the three defendants had been bragging about committing the offenses to classmates at school, which ultimately aided police in making their arrests.

The Police Chief said it was unlikely that any further arrests would be made in the case and said the joint investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Oxford police had successfully found all the main culprits.

“A fourth 15-year-old suspect was also bragging to fellow classmates about committing some of the acts, but it later turned out he was just trying to be a big man, attempting to impress others and wasn’t actually involved in the incident,” said Nolan.

“Since the case broke, we’ve encountered people who are verbally justifying the acts these kids committed and I can’t believe there is any justification, whether they’re juveniles or not. It’s ridiculous,” said Sheriff Thomas J. Loughren.

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