State of Tennessee Press Release; July 12, 2011:
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons announced Tuesday that the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) had issued an arrest warrant for a suspect charged for vandalizing the Tennessee State Capitol Building last month.
The THP’s Criminal Investigation Division issued an arrest warrant for Barbara Ann Smith, 37, of Murfreesboro on one count of vandalism over $1,000 (a class D felony). Smith is currently being held in the Rutherford County Detention Center for unrelated vandalism charges filed by the Murfreesboro Police Department. Upon being released from Rutherford County custody, Smith will be transported to Davidson County to face the charge in the Capitol graffiti case.
“I am proud of the work our Criminal Investigation Division put into this case. Initially, there was not much information to go on, but they followed up several leads and, ultimately, solved the case,” said Commissioner Gibbons.
In the early morning hours of June 19, state troopers on duty at the State Capitol discovered graffiti spray painted on the exterior walls of the building. The graffiti included hand-drawn pentagrams and the words “RIP TONY AL” and “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE” spray painted in black. Surveillance video showed a hooded suspect near the scene.
“The State Capitol is the people’s house, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Capitol Security Unit is committed to securing it. We have taken increased steps to help ensure the safety of the building and those who work and visit there,” Commissioner Gibbons added.
The Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.