Austin man arrested in Carpenter Hill vandalism case

UPDATE – 3:54 p.m. Aug. 13

Hays CISD officials Monday released a statement on the arrest of James Michael Kerr, who is accused of vandalizing Carpenter Hill Elementary Aug. 10.

Tim Savoy, Hays CISD chief communications officer, said the total cost of damage and clean up ranges between $150,000 and $300,000. Damage consisted of broken windows, computers and copy machines in common areas. A fire extinguisher was discharged in the Carpenter Hill library, while an antique carousel horse was also damaged.

““I can’t thank our law enforcement friends enough. The men and women in the Hays County Sheriff’s Office are always at the ready to assist our schools, employees, and students, at a moment’s notice and with any help we seek. They work tirelessly to keep us safe,” said Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright in a statement.  “This case is no different. They have been on the job, investigating this vandalism incident non-stop since it happened. I am happy they have a suspect in custody. Now, we can being to seek justice and restitution.”


An Austin man faces multiple charges after authorities accuse him of causing more than $100,000 in damage during a vandalism spree at Carpenter Hill Elementary.

James Micheal Kerr, 24, of Austin, was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief and arson, both second degree felonies, as well as burglary of a building, a state jail felony.

According to a press release, investigators were able to identify Kerr through surveillance footage captured from video cameras at the school.

Officials began their investigation after an unidentified man forcibly entered the campus Aug. 10 and caused extensive damage. According to the release, damage is estimated to be anywhere between $150,000 and $300,000.

Investigators have not yet determined a motive in the case, nor have they determined Kerr’s connection to the school, according to the release.

Bond has not yet been set for Kerr, according to the release.

This story is developing. We will update as information becomes available. 

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