Ronald Adkins first lost his son in a fatal shooting last fall in Tallassee, and then had to deal with the headache of someone stealing items from the makeshift memorial in memory of his 21-year old son, Christian.
It came to a head Thursday in an Elmore County courtroom after investigators arrested Harvey Vines on third degree theft.
Vines acted as his own attorney and denied allegations in court that he stole anything from the temporary memorial Adkins had set up in his son's memory.
Adkins told WSFA 12 News he suspected Vines from day one.
"In addition to dealing with the loss of a son, you got someone who was malicious and not very nice," Adkins said.
A brief history. Christian Adkins died after he was allegedly shot by his father-in-law, 57-year old Michael Foster, in October 2012.
A few weeks later, Adkins built the memorial at the entrance of his Natchez Trace neighborhood 18 miles from downtown Wetumpka, but started noticing a few things such as flowers, a stand, a spotlight and a plaque disappearing from the vigil.
The case against Vines was largely circumstantial until a neighbor testified in court he actually saw Vines take the items. From the bench Judge Glenn Goggans convicted Vines of third degree theft; 90 days in the county jail but that sentence was suspended, ordered to pay slightly more than $157 in restitution and two years on probation.
"No comment!,' Vines yelled as he was asked for his side of the story. Vines did say he plans to appeal. He has 14 days to do so.
Ronald Adkins, meantime, has no plans to rebuild the memorial at the entrance of his neighborhood. That's because he's already built one in his backyard.
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