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South Georgia Crime & Safety

Final Defendant Sentenced in Georgia Naval Base Vandalism

The final sentence of seven defendants in the April 2018 illegal entry and vandalism of Submarine Base Kings Bay draws to a close three years of investigation and criminal prosecution.

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Mark Peter Colville, 59, of New Haven, Conn., was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Lisa Godbey Wood to 21 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $33,503.51 in restitution, said David H. Estes, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. Colville, along with six other defendants, was found guilty after a four-day jury trial in October 2019 on charges of Conspiracy, Destruction of Property on a Naval Installation, Depredation of Government Property, and Trespass. Colville was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after completion of his prison sentence.

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“Mark Colville’s sentence brings closure to a prosecution that represents the triumph of the rule of law over misguided principles,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Colville and his attention-seeking cohorts attempted to make a grand statement by breaking into and vandalizing a secure government facility, but in the end succeeded only in adding felony convictions to their criminal records.”

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As admitted by the defendants during their trial, Colville was among seven co-conspirators who cut a padlock from the gate of an outer security fence at the naval installation in St. Marys, Ga., late in the evening April 4, 2018. Once through the security fence, the trespassers split into two groups and then damaged and vandalized property inside the facility before being taken into custody by naval security personnel.

Colville has a long history of arrests, including eight criminal convictions related to trespassing and damaging government property.

The six other defendants in the case previously were sentenced for their participation in the illegal activities, including Stephen Michael Kelly, 72, of Massachusetts; Patrick O’Neill, 65, of Garner, N.C.; Elizabeth McAlister, 81, of New London, Conn.; Clare Therese Grady, 62, of Ithaca, N.Y.; Martha Hennessy, 65, of Perkinsville, Vt.; and Carmen Trotta, 58, of New York, N.Y.

The case was prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karl Knoche, E. Greg Gilluly Jr. and Channell Singh, with assistance from Litigation Technologist Dean Athanasopoulos. The investigation was conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.  

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