Suspect in Our Lady of Mount Carmel vandalism now competent to stand trial

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Caleb Vancampen charged with vandalism and theft in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Competency has been restored to a man accused of causing thousands of dollars of damage to statues at a Smoky Hollow church.

Caleb Vancampen, 20, of East Palestine, had his competency restored after being treated for several months at the Heartland Behavorial Facility, where he was sent after Judge Renee DiSalvo in municipal court ordered a mental health evaluation on Vancampen be performed.

On Wednesday, Judge DiSalvo said Vancampen was declared competent to stand trial following a hearing before her.

In April, Judge DiSalvo ordered that Vancampen be given mental health treatment after his initial evaluation ruled he was incompetent to stand trial.

That evaluation was ordered after Vancampen was arraigned following his Feb. 26 arrest for the destruction of several statues at the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Via Mount Carmel.

Vancampen was arrested as he was being arraigned on two misdemeanor counts of theft in municipal court. As he was being arraigned, patrol officers in the area notified detectives that they should question Vancampen, who they said was a new person in the downtown neighborhood.

Vancampen was questioned by detectives and confessed to the vandalism. Detectives were also able to use video surveillance to help make their case.

Several statues outside the church were knocked over and some had the heads knocked off. Several lights outside were also damaged.

Estimates of the damage range up to $20,000.

Because his competency has been restored, Vancampen is now back at the Mahoning County jail unless he can post the $10,000 bond that was issued at his arraignment. He will have a preliminary hearing to determine if his case should be bound over to common pleas court. The date of that hearing has not been set yet.

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