UPDATE: Man charged in Bessie Smith Cultural Center theft in cou - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man charged in Bessie Smith Cultural Center theft in court

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Torrey Hines walks away from Judge Christie Mahn Sell's bench Tuesday. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com Torrey Hines walks away from Judge Christie Mahn Sell's bench Tuesday. Photo by Dan Kennedy/WRCBtv.com
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The man accused of taking thousands of dollars from the Bessie Smith Strut let his case go before a grand jury.


Torrey Hines faces charges of burglary, theft of property and vandalism.  In court Thursday, Hines turned down a preliminary hearing, which means his case will go to a grand jury.

In the arrest report, Hines told police he used a sledge hammer to break down a door and get to the money.

Then spray-painted racial slurs on the walls to throw off police.

The judge ordered hines to stay away from the cultural center and anyone who works there.

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The man accused of taking thousands of dollars from the Bessie Smith Cultural Center was in court Tuesday.

Torrey Hines faces charges of burglary, theft of property and vandalism. More than $88,000 in cash went missing the night after the strut.

Hines waived his right for a preliminary hearing Tuesday and opted to be heard at a later date in front of the grand jury.

"To the extent that he's had any involvement in this crime, I want to address that Mr. Hines has been fully cooperative and will continue to do so in this case," said his attorney Bill Speek.

Speed would not elaborate on his client's involvement or what plea he may enter.

According to the arrest report, Hines confessed to stealing some money from the Cultural Center. Police say he confessed to using a sledge hammer to break down a door to get to the money, then spray-painted racial slurs on the walls to throw off police. Hines then confessed to spending $2,500 on gas and bills and hiding the rest of the cash in some woods behind his home. But Hines told police he only stole about $40,000. The Cultural Center said more than double that amount was missing.

"We've basically been doing our basic operations and trying to move forward and that's all we've basically been doing at this point," said Rose Martin, executive director of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center.

Martin was also in court Tuesday to see Hines. She says she's had no contact with him since his arrest. The judge ordered Hines to stay away from the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and folks who work there.
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