PICKENS, S.C. – The trial for a man accused of damaging and stealing a chunk of Clemson University’s famed Howard’s Rock began Tuesday morning with opening arguments from both sides.
Prosecutors said Micah Rogers, 20, of Pisgah Forest, N.C., smashed the outer case of the rock, chipped off a piece of it and stole the piece some time on June 2, 2013.
Clemson employees discovered the busted rock the next afternoon.
The rock, which is named after the late Clemson head football coach Frank Howard, has been on display at Memorial Stadium since 1967. Both players and coaches rub the rock before football games.
Leila Dunbar, a Washington, D.C.-based appraiser hired by Clemson Univeristy, called the rock a “rock star,” and testified that the missing chunk of the rock is valued at as much as $132,000.
The jury, which consists of seven women and five men, also heard testimony from other Clemson employees and members of the Clemson University Police Department.
Jurors found Rogers guilty of malicious injury to property less than $2,000 and not guilty of grand larceny.
The Judge sentenced Rogers to a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail with a $1,000 fine.
Judge suspended that sentence to 25 days of community service if Rogers pays a $1,700 fine.
As part of deal, he must do 12 of his 25 days community service on Saturdays in September, October and November.