logo



Jonesborough man charged with civil rights intimidation after Limestone church ransacked, vandalized

Johnson City Press • Updated May 14, 2019 at 6:27 PM

Pages were torn from a Bible when a Limestone church was burglarized and extensively vandalized early Monday morning. A Jonesborough man was charged with civil rights intimidation in the case, Sheriff Ed Graybeal announced Tuesday.

The sheriff said Jeffery Wade Greene, 37, 320 Mount Zion Church Road, was developed as a suspect after video footage was obtained from the church’s security cameras and his wallet was found at the church. Greene later was found with a laptop belonging to the church.

Limestone Freewill Baptist Church, 3709 Old State Route 34, was damaged both inside and outside in the burglary. Forced entry was made through a window, according to an affidavit.

Graybeal said at least six heat pump units were either tipped over — causing their pipes to break — or completely removed. Inside the church, fire extinguishers were set off throughout the building. Several offices and classrooms were ransacked, and wires and cabling had also been pulled out from the walls of one office.

Greene was charged with civil rights intimidation, burglary, vandalism over $10,000 and theft under $1,000. The theft charge stems from the laptop, valued at $500, that authorities reported finding with Greene. More specific estimates of damages will be forthcoming.

Greene also faced an additional auto burglary charge, stemming from an arrest earlier Tuesday morning before the church burglary and vandalism was reported. During that arrest, deputies reported finding the laptop reported stolen in the church burglary. Greene was jailed in the Washington County Detention Center after his arrest.

Greene remained at the Washington County Detention Center on a $21,000 bond after an arraignment hearing Tuesday.

Sessions Court Judge James Nidiffer told Greene to say nothing about his case and that at the time he was still considered innocent. Greene, however, could not refrain from speaking.

“I don’t remember any of it,” Green said, before Nidiffer told him to please be quiet and repeated his instructions.

Greene was appointed a public defender by the state. He was ordered to remain in custody if he could not make bail. A later court hearing will be set with Greene’s public defender.

This is a developing story. Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for updates.

A previous version of this story read as follows:

Pages were torn from a Bible when a Limestone church was burglarized and extensively vandalized early Monday morning. A Jonesborough man was charged with civil rights intimidation in the case, Sheriff Ed Graybeal announced Tuesday.

The sheriff said Jeffery Wade Greene, 37, 320 Mount Zion Church Road, was developed as a suspect after video footage was obtained from the church’s security cameras and his wallet was found at the church. Greene later was found with a laptop belonging to the church.

Limestone Freewill Baptist Church, 3709 Old State Route 34, was damaged both inside and outside in the burglary.

Graybeal said at least six heat pump units were either tipped over — causing their pipes to break — or completely removed. Inside the church, fire extinguishers were set off throughout the building. Several offices and classrooms were ransacked. Wires and cabling had also been pulled out from the walls of one office.

Greene was charged with civil rights intimidation, burglary, vandalism over $10,000 and theft under $1,000.

Greene also faced an additional auto burglary charge, stemming from an arrest earlier Tuesday morning. During that arrest, deputies found the laptop reported stolen in the church burglary.

Greene was jailed in the Washington County Detention Center under $21,000 bond pending a Sessions Court hearing set for Tuesday.

This is a developing story. Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com for updates.

Johnson City Press Videos