Man accused of vandalizing four churches in jail

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has an Oliver Spring’s man in custody for vandalism and burglary.
A man is in jail accused of vandalizing four churches in Morgan County.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tonight an Oliver Springs man accused of vandalizing four churches on Highway 62 in Morgan County is in jail. It took the Morgan County Sheriff’s office just three hours to find the suspect.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said 23-year-old Skyler Aslinger and his father got into an argument when Aslinger got out of the car and ran off by himself. Sheriff Wayne Potter said it was a community and multi-agency effort to find the Aslinger and make an arrest.

“He felt like these churches should be open to the public he was not able to gain access to them so therefore he decided to vandalize them as he was going home,” said Sheriff Potter.

Aslinger is facing four counts of vandalism plus one count of burglary. Sheriff Potter said they received the vandalism call around 9 a.m. Sunday morning and in just three hours they were able to find him.

“Of course, at the last church he went to he decided to tear down the video camera,” said Brad Aytes, Investigator for Morgan County. “He looked dead at the video camera and we were able to identify him. Go to his house, first [thing] he told us: I know why you’re here. I did it all,” Aytes said.

The four churches include Big Mountain Baptist, Fellowship Baptist, Middle Creek Baptist and Mt. Carmel Presbyterian. Investigator Aytes said Mt. Carmel Presbyterian had the most damage.

“At Mt. Carmel Church he actually completely beat the door in, went inside and laid down on a pew. Then, went on to Middle Creek where he found it was locked as well; threw rocks at the front door. He left there and went to Friend’s Chapel where he ripped all the letters off the sign,” said Aytes.

The damages at the churches were minor and all of them got the mess cleaned up in time for Sunday service.

Aslinger will be in court on Thursday his bond is $12,000.