A University of Missouri professor and two others have been accused of stealing artifacts from a southeastern Washington national forest two years ago.
R. Lee Lyman, a professor of archaeology at MU, was charged in June with second-degree theft, second-degree malicious mischief and making false or misleading statements to a public servant.
Research specialist Matthew T. Boulanger, who was a doctoral candidate at MU at the time, along with Dave N. Schmitt, a researcher from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, were each charged with second-degree theft and second-degree malicious mischief.
The Columbia Tribune reported that while on a research trip to the Umatilla National Forest and Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, the three removed more than 93 items from seven sites in 2013 in violation of the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act. Court documents identified the artifacts taken as more than arrowheads and said they “are important contextually in an archeological and anthropological sense.”
The three were arraigned July 22, with Schmitt pleading not guilty and the others not entering any plea. Lyman and Boulanger’s next court date is scheduled for early September.
A trial date for Schmitt was set for Oct. 15 in Washington state.