California Man, Austin Clay, Takes Plea Deal For Vandalizing Donald Trump’s Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Clay entered the plea in Los Angeles County Superior Court and pleaded no contest to a count of felony vandalism, which prosecutors said resulted in more than $400 damage. As part of his plea deal, Clay was sentenced to one day in county jail (which he reportedly already served), and he will have to complete 20 days of community labor, along with the three years probation.
In addition to the other plea deal requirements, Clay was also ordered to attend psychological counseling and pay $9,500 in damages to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Clay would have faced up to a maximum of three years in jail if he was convicted at trial. Clay’s lawyers had previously told the Daily News that there was “no dispute” and that Clay had just performed an “act of civil disobedience” that was caught on tape.
“There’s no doubt Austin is a very passionate man who feels very strongly about Trump’s actions and how they’ve affected him as a person and affected society as a whole,” Clay’s defense lawyer Ben Perlmutter said. “It’s no surprise that Trump’s rhetoric provokes this type of reaction. It’s not surprising to see acts of civil disobedience. People are not okay with the status quo.”
According to police, in July, Clay carried his pickax to Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a guitar case and after using it to destroy Trump’s star, he then turned himself into the police at the Beverly Hills Police station just a few miles away.
“He did call to say he had vandalized the Trump star,” Lt. Karen Leong with LAPD’s Hollywood Division told The News. “He did say when he called, ‘See you soon!’”
This wasn’t the first time that Trump’s star was vandalized, as earlier in 2016, someone spray painted it. During that same year in October, James Otis also took a pickax along with a sledgehammer to the star and pleaded no contest to a count of felony vandalism a few months later.
Like Clay, Otis was also sentenced to three years formal probation but was ordered to only pay $3,700 to the Hollywood Historic Trust and $700 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce after claiming to be a part of the Otis Elevator family.