Howard’s Rock accused vandal’s trial set to begin July 20

Micah Rogers, accused of vandalizing Howard's Rock in June 2013, is scheduled to go on trial July 20 in Pickens County. (File photo)

CLEMSON — More than two years after being accused of vandalizing Howard’s Rock, Micah Rogers will have his day in court.

Rogers’ trial is scheduled to begin July 20 in Pickens County, on charges of grand larceny and malicious injury to property. Rogers, then 18, was arrested June 28, 2013 for breaking off a fist-sized piece of Clemson’s 49-year-old artifact residing within Memorial Stadium the night of June 2, 2013.

“This case has gone on a little bit longer than I certainly would have liked,” Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins told The Post and Courier last summer, “but it’s the unique nature of the case that has required us to complete our investigation so we can present and advocate a trial.”

Rogers’ initial charges in July 2013 were for trespassing and malicious injury to personal property valued between $2,000 and $10,000. In January 2015, the charges were increased to grand larceny and malicious injury to personal property worth more than $10,000.

Those charges were served by the Pickens County Grand Jury.

Each of the new charges carry up to 10 years in prison. Rogers remains free on bond.

The famous entrance at Death Valley involves Clemson football players rubbing Howard’s Rock before running down The Hill onto the field. That tradition did not change each of the past two seasons since the vandalism, though there is now a Plexiglass cover among other security measures guarding the rock on a daily basis.

Cameras caught an unidentified man tampering with the protective case in late February. The Clemson University Police Department has not released any new information regarding that investigation.

In August 2013, Rogers’ father, Michael, and friend, Alden James Gainey, were charged with criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice. They were released on $7,500 bond, and await trial.