Sanford woman charged with vandalizing Salisbury church

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By Shavonne Walker

SALISBURY — A Sanford woman charged with vandalizing a Salisbury church says a church member owes her money.

The Salisbury Police Department charged Diann Jones, 45, of Thoroughfare Branch Road, Sanford, with three counts of vandalism, second-degree trespassing, and using the telephone to threaten bodily harm, all of which are misdemeanor offenses.

Jones has had multiple addresses, including in Salisbury and Lexington.

She remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $6,100 secured bond.

According to reports Saturday, someone at Word of Life Family Worship Center, 726 E. Liberty St., found two bricks that had been thrown through a window.

Jones was identified as a suspect because she had been at the church causing problems for a member, according to a police report. The church member had a restraining order against Jones, the report said.

Church leaders asked Jones not to return.

After last Sunday’s church service, Jones arrived there and said she wanted money that she said was owed to her by a church member. Someone at the church called police to report a disturbance and gave a description of Jones and her vehicle and her license plate number.

By the time an officer arrived, Jones was gone. The officer had to respond to another call, but he returned to the church to find that 14 stained-glass window panes had been broken and the word “liar” was spray-painted on the rear of the church.

Another officer spotted Jones in her vehicle and stopped her. He served her with an outstanding warrant for communicating threats.

An investigator identified Jones as the person who broke the windows after viewing surveillance video.

The police report says Jones is on medication but is not taking it.

Church administrator Virginia Brown said Jones has never been a member of the church.

The church contacted a stained-glass company to get an assessment of repair costs, but no damage estimate was available. Brown said other windows were broken, including some in the basement. Other damage includes shards of glass in the carpet and on the padded pews.

Brown said church members picked up bigger pieces of glass, but there’s no way to tell how much glass remains in the seats and carpet. The church is waiting for an insurance assessment.

The church has been at the location for more than 30 years.

Court records show that three people were issued restraining orders against Jones this year, but because they did not show up for court, the cases were dismissed. According to the restraining orders, Jones harassed and threatened a child care director and an employee. She cursed the women out and threatened to harm them, the orders say.

In a third restraining order, an East Spencer man said Jones threatened him and his mother.

In 1999, Jones was convicted in Lee County of communicating threats. In 2015, she was convicted in Rowan County of using threatening language over the telephone.