CHARLESTON – West Virginia wants a man who crashed into the Veterans Memorial at the state Capitol Complex to pay for the damages.

Managing Deputy Attorney General Barbara H. Allen filed a lawsuit March 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Howard Gentry of Newton in Roane County.

Gentry is awaiting trial on a charge of felony destruction of property related to the incident, which occurred in March 2007. His trial is set for April 6.

Police said Gentry drove his Subaru onto the complex and crashed into the memorial.

They said he also tried to drive up the stairs to the Cultural Center.

Police ruled out alcohol as a factor in the incident.

Gentry has pleaded not guilty to the charge. His lawyer has said Gentry was suffering from a medical condition at the time of the incident.

The civil lawsuit, filed on behalf of the state Department of Administration's General Services Division, seeks $56,162 to pay for the repairs of the memorial, most of which have been completed.

The lawsuit also seeks legal costs and interest.

The case is before Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis Bloom.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-493

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