Another suspect has been charged in connection with the destruction of the Plaza obelisk, the Santa Fe Police Department announced Thursday.

Austin Schweitzer, 22, faces charges of criminal damage to property over $1,000, conspiracy, unlawful assembly and criminal trespass, according to a news release.

Protesters used ropes and chains to topple the monument on Indigenous Peoples Day following three days of demonstrations on the Plaza.

The obelisk was dedicated to soldiers who fought in the Civil War, but it had an inscription honoring the “heroes” who died in battle with “savage Indians.”

Schweitzer is one of at least eight people accused of destroying the monument. Other defendants include Lily Sage Schweitzer, 34; Ryan Witt, 29; Dawn Furlong, 46; Melissa Rose, 44; Lauren Straily, 28; Stephen Fox, 73; and Zachary Young, 26. Two other defendants — Dylan Wrobel, 27, and Sean Sunderland, 25 — were charged in an altercation with police shortly before the toppling of the obelisk.

It was unclear if Austin Schweitzer and Lily Sage Schweitzer are related.

The misdemeanor charges against Sunderland were dropped in April.

The District Attorney's Office has reached an agreement with all but one of the eight other previously charged defendants that will allow them to avoid jail time if they complete community service as part of a pre-prosecution diversion program. 

Fox, a local gallery owner, is not part of the agreement with prosecutors.

(11) comments

Richard Forrest

Get rid of this do-nothing, bias-assed district Attorney. This isn’t justice by any stretch.

John Martinez

Do your DARN JOB Serna!!! If these were locals that tore down the obelisk, you know darn well there would be an example made of them.....This WEAK police chief needs to send this matter to the Feds to let them press charges against all of these CRIMINALS. Our LOCAL Peaople need to rise up and NOT stand for this incompetence of our system!! The mayor, the da and his weak police chief better start doing their DARN jobs!!!

Tom Hyland

John, this will never become a federal case because it occurred on city property. It was allowed to happen by city officials and the buck stops there. If the vandals had marched up Lincoln Avenue to the Federal Courthouse and torn down the Kit Carson Memorial obelisk then the Feds would be all over it because that's their jurisdiction.

Mike Johnson

Oh goodie, another chance for the incompetent, soft-on-crime DA to practice so-called "restorative justice", aka let the criminals go free without any punishment if they committed a felony for political agenda purposes.....

KT Rivera

If our DA believes we have no law against this behavior, let's envoke laws of banishment... banish these individuals from our city. The Native Americans (and some US states) still use this type of punishment and it can be handed down by a court order.

Vince Czarnowski

It's not going to matter. He already has a free pass thanks to the DA.

Amber Espinosa-Trujillo

Webber of Lies is polishing the next set of “Keys to the City” to give to this criminal for doing his bidding! We all know the D.A. will hand him his participation ribbon soon!

Tom Hyland

There exists a zero political advantage for the mayor and the police department to persist in prosecuting the vandals because they are the two parties who allowed this fiasco to occur. The third party... and party they did... are responsible for the virtue-signaling rage fest ALLOWED to unfold. Mayor Webber must have made the decision to tell the cops to leave the Plaza. I don't know, but I can't believe the cops made that decision alone. It would be amazing if this newspaper had a sitdown interview with Webber & Police in which these answers were revealed. Investigative reporting? Give it a try.

Nancy Lockland

Why waste taxpayers money. We all know in Santa Fe you can vandalize historic monuments and get off scotch free.

Tom Hyland

n. Scot: Payment, reckoning. "To go scot-free." To be let off payment; to escape payment or punishment.

However, concerning the violent melee on the Plaza last October, scotch might have been involved, though my imbibing in that wonderful drink always results in relaxation and observation.

Pam Walker

Don't know why you waste tax payer money on this. Slap on the hand is all they will get. Why bother even reporting it.

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