Accused church vandal seeking plea deal - FOX 32 News Chicago

Accused church vandal seeking plea deal

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Negotiations for a potential plea deal are under way between attorneys in the case of a north suburban woman facing multiple charges of vandalism and defacement of churches.

Meghan Heinze, 22, of Gurnee was scheduled to appear in Lake County Circuit Court on Wednesday morning, but her attorney, Evan Winer, told Judge Raymond Collins the prosecution had waived her appearance and requested a new court date, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.

Winer said he is hopeful final details of a negotiated guilty plea can be worked out. Collins scheduled her next court appearance for July 2.

Heinze faces multiple felony charges of institutional vandalism of a church causing over $300 in damage and criminal defacement of property causing more than $300 damage.

According to police, Heinze used spray paint to vandalize and draw symbols on religious buildings from Feb. 14-21. A video camera captured her spray-painting a church in Gurnee and leaving the scene in a light-colored SUV, according to police.

Nearly a dozen places of worship were vandalized with graffiti or damaged during that time period, according to Waukegan and Gurnee police.

Police said similar words mocking faith were used in the incidents, along with a smiley face. No particular faith was targeted, as incidents involved a variety of Christian churches and a mosque.

Heinze was arrested by Gurnee officers who noticed she matched the description of the person wanted in the case.

She remains free on a $5,000 cash bond.

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