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D.C. green paint suspect released to halfway house

7:20 AM, Aug 3, 2013   |    comments
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(USA TODAY) -- A 58-year-old Chinese national accused of defacing Washington National Cathedral with green paint has been released to a halfway house, where she will be electronically monitored.

At a court appearance Friday, a District of Columbia judge ordered that Jiamei Tian, whom authorities said had overstayed her tourist visa and had no fixed address, must also not leave the facility or have visitors. She was arrested Monday and charged with defacing two chapels in the cathedral.

Police suspect that Tian is also connected to similar vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial, a Smithsonian statue on the National Mall, another Washington church and a statue of theologian Martin Luther. Prosecutors had said she arrived in Washington shortly before the vandalism.

At Friday's preliminary hearing, a detective testified that the tread from one of the shoes she was wearing matched a paint footprint found early July 26 at the Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Post reported.

One visitor reported finding two 20-ounce Mountain Dew bottles full of green and white paint, plus white footprints near the memorial's Gettysburg Address inscription. Police said that when Tian was arrested inside the cathedral she had a soda can containing similar green paint.

The National Park Service said Thursday that the cleanup was nearly finished. Work cleaning and restoring an organ and altar piece damaged in the Bethlehem and Children's chapels at the National Cathedral is continuing.


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