LE CENTER — DNA evidence played a critical role in a Madison Lake man being charged Wednesday with smearing blood throughout a Le Center church and doing damage to property at an ex-girlfriend's house.

William Smith, 20, faces four felony charges in Le Sueur County District Court:  two counts of first-degree criminal damage to property, second-degree burglary and third-degree burglary.

The Le Sueur County Sheriff's Office initially responded at 10:36 a.m. Sept. 6 to a call about vandalism of St. Mary's Church in Le Center, according to the criminal complaint.

Blood trails were found leading from the entrance to several rooms and blood was intentionally smeared on several walls, including to spell out a four-letter expletive in many instances. 

Three sections of stained-glass windows also were broken. The total estimated cost of damage was $4,306.

Police recovered DNA and fingerprint evidence from the scene.

The deputies also believed a break-in at Le Center resident Brian Quist's home on the night of the incident was connected. A window was broken on the house and garage. A car was "keyed" and all four tires were slashed. A trailer's tires, the seat of a jet ski and a trampoline canvas were slashed. The total damage is estimated at $5,005.

Police recovered DNA evidence and a key ring with a key fob at the scene.

On Sept. 18, police learned William Smith's girlfriend took him to a Mankato hospital for stitches on his arm and hand the morning of the incidents. They learned Smith previously dated Quist's daughter. Smith's girlfriend told police the recovered key chain belonged to him.

A lawyer for the Smith family told police they would cooperate and Smith submitted a DNA sample.

On Dec. 29, police learned the DNA test results matched Smith with the evidence.