, Ala. (AP) — Alabama
authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a man in connection with the strange theft of a Confederate monument from an Alabama cemetery and discovered in Louisiana
Dallas County District Attorney
announced Monday that police
in Selma had charged Jason Warnick
with theft in connection with the mysterious disappearance of the chair-shaped monument.
Police said the monument ended up in Warnick's New Orleans tattoo
shop, so he was already charged with possession of stolen property.
An attorney for Warnick said his client denied any involvement in the theft, which sparked national media
attention before the monument was recovered.
“This information is very new, but we are in contact with the Selma Police Department and will be making plans over the next few days,” attorney Michael Kennedy wrote in an email. “That being said, Mr. Warnick categorically denies any involvement with the theft of this memorial art installation and intends to vigorously defend himself and his reputation.”
Warnick and two others had previously been charged with possessing the chair after it went missing.
The strange saga began on March 20 when a representative of the United Daughters of the Confederacy reported to police that the “Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair” had gone missing from Live Oak Cemetery, which is located in a riverside city known worldwide for its civil rights
The chair has no direct connection to Davis, the Confederacy's president, but it was a monument to him in a private section of the city-owned cemetery, alongside other rebel monuments.
Someone claimed responsibility and said the chair would be returned only if the United Daughters of the Confederacy agreed to display a banner bearing a quote from a Black Liberation Army activist at their Virginia
A later email included photos
of someone dressed in Union soldier garb posing on a chair that resembled the missing one but had a hole cut out of the seat; a final email stated that the photos were fake and that the real chair would be returned undamaged.
The chair-shaped monument, valued at $500,000 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, was found in New Orleans.