ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – A Watauga man says alcohol wasn't the cause of his truck crash that damaged a statue of the Virgin Mary — religion was.
Daniel Reid Hillman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to desecrating a venerated object. The Johnson City Press reported Hillman also pleaded guilty to second offense DUI and driving on a revoked license.
Elizabethton police arrested the 25-year-old Hillman and Nathaniel Ray Henson of Elizabethton late Monday night after Hillman's truck collided with the statue on the front lawn of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church.
The arrest report stated Hillman admitted he was drunk but said the reason for the collision was his "strong dislike for all organized religion."
In addition to fines, Hillman was ordered by a judge Wednesday to pay for damage to the icon.