Police make an arrest in Sulphur church vandalism

Police make arrest in vandalism at 4 Sulphur churches
Published: Dec. 15, 2012 at 5:27 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2012 at 3:11 PM CST
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Daniel Wayne Duplechin (Source: Sulphur Police Department)
Daniel Wayne Duplechin (Source: Sulphur Police Department)

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Sulphur Police arrested Daniel Wayne Duplechin, 35, of Sulphur after they say they caught him vandalizing a church. Duplechin is suspected of vandalizing four Sulphur churches.

Sulphur Police Chief Lewis Coates said they strongly believe he was under the influence of some type of drugs.

"When our officers interviewed him, he kept telling them he was on a mission from God. And that God had spoken to him and told him to destroy the statues," said Coates.

The hardest hit were Our Lady of Prompt Succor and Our Lady of LaSalette. Police said Duplechin broke into the buildings and damaged statues inside and on the outside of the churches. According to Police he was armed with a sledge hammer.

Aside from leaving his jacket at the scene of Our Lady Prompt Succor Police said they caught him in the act at Our Lady of LaSalette. Police said Duplechin was aggressive and had to be tazed before being taken into custody.

Police said Duplechin has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1995, which includes property damage, burglaries and DWI.

Church members in the community are devastated because most of the statues are very old and can't be replaced.

Police said Henning United Methodist Church and First Baptist Church in Sulphur both had a broken window.

Duplechin has been charged with the following:

-- Two counts of simple burglary of a religious building;
-- Four counts of simple criminal damage to property over $500; and
-- Four counts of a hate crime (one for each church).

His bond is set at $690,000.

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