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ECU vandalism suspect faces fire on Twitter

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Oct 23 2012 10:33:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2012 12:58:44 PM CDT
GREENVILLE -

The suspect in a vandalism case at East Carolina University was the target Monday night of a Twitter barrage.

A person tweeting from the purported account of suspect William Banks fired back early and often.

“Dunk ppl do stupid **** … it happens,” tweeted @xXWillECU16Xx, an account that has since either been disabled or changed its screen name.

The ECU freshman was arrested Sunday and charged in connection with a series of vandalism at ECU’s Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium that had occurred earlier that day. Police said someone drove utility vehicles on the turf of Bagwell Field, leaving damage to the Pirates’ game day surface. Trash cans, concession stands and water fountains were damaged sometime between 3 and 6 a.m. Sunday.

You can see photos here of the vandalism.

The Twitter account, which was further labeled as William Banks, was also confronted about punching in a windshield of a car in the parking lot “for no reason” after leaving the stadium.

“Actually kicked it in … But yea no reason,” @xXWillECU16Xx replied.

The account also tweeted directly about the vandalism.

“Y’all act like **** can’t be fixed … It happened and nobody’s words can fix a **** thing,” the person tweeted.

If you’re looking for remorse, the next tweet is as close as you’ll come; the account appeared to own up to the crimes.

“And you are absolutely correct I deserve it … I did the crimes, and I’ll pay the fines,” one of the tweets read.

In a later reply, the account tweeted, “Oh yea I’m going to delete my twitter because you said so.”

The account appears to have been removed from Twitter, but you can see screenshots here of Monday night’s tweets.

Defense attorney Jeff Foster, who does not represent Banks, said the tweets from Banks' account may be used against him in court.

"The lack of remorse, the admission to doing certain things, just the combativeness in the way he across on his twitter account and just the complete lack of concern about the damage he caused are very damaging to him," Foster said.

Foster said in order to use these tweets against Banks in court, the state must provide foundational proof. Meaning, they must prove Banks was the one who actually posted the Tweets. The state will look at where the Tweets were posted and on what computer.

"These are all admissions against his interest. He's basically saying 'I did this' if in fact he made these posts," Foster said.

Foster said if convicted Banks' punishment will depend on the judge assigned to the case, what Banks' past criminal record looks like and whether each crime will be tried separately or not.

Banks was arrested after police said he returned to the stadium Sunday looking for a phone he had dropped.