Capitol statues damaged in protests: Madison man gets probation

A Madison man charged with helping tear down two statues outside the state Capitol during a string of protests over racial injustice two years ago has been sentenced to three years of probation.

Jacob Capps, 28, pleaded guilty to one count of felony criminal damage to property Wednesday and was also ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Capps entered the guilty plea to toppling the "Forward" statue on Capitol Square on the night of June 23, 2020. A second felony count for helping take down the statue of abolitionist Col. Hans Christian Heg that same night was read at sentencing and dismissed.

Both statues have since been repaired and replaced.

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Capps declined to comment on his plea when given the chance in court, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Protests in Madison over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police began in late May 2020. Protests the night of June 23 were in response to the arrest earlier in the day of local activist Devonere Johnson. He has since been convicted in federal court of extortion involving a Madison business.

At least four other people have been charged in connection with the statues’ destruction. At least three of their cases remain open.