SELMA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama judge has refused to dismiss an indictment against a New Orleans tattoo artist accused in a bizarre theft in which a Confederate monument was taken from a cemetery and held for ransom.

A judge in Selma refused to dismiss charges against 33-year-old Jason Warnick in a brief decision released Thursday.

A chair-shaped monument went missing in April 2021 from 200-year-old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma. A fake chair was pictured in a ransom email sent to media outlets.

Authorities who arrested Warnick say the real chair was spotted at his tattoo parlor in New Orleans.

Warnick was set to go on trial on Monday, but a judge delayed the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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