Back in July, a Los Angeles man took a pickaxe to the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame star that belonged to President Donald J. Trump. He was the second person to do it. Today — the day Trump held a chaotic, post-election press conference where he, among other things, told an African-American reporter that her question about him using the word “nationalist” was “racist” — that man, one Austin Clay, has had his day in court. And it went well, for him. Clay won’t get any jail time, and any punishment will be like a slap on the wrist.
Deadline has the update on Clay’s appearance before the Los Angeles Superior Court. He pled no contest in the incident, which happened in the middle of the night on July 25. Clay, 24, reportedly traveled to Trump’s star, on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, with his pickaxe inside a guitar case. He then smashed the red marble bearing the commander-in-chief’s name. Once he was done, he left his weapon of choice at the scene.
Clay turned himself in the day after the deed, spent a night in jail, and was formally charged by the L.A. County D.A.’s office on August 6. He pled not guilty on Aug 15.
Between then and now, Clay’s lawyers struck a deal with the D.A.’s office. Clay will be forced to pay the $9,404.46 required to repair the Trump star. Moreover, he will have to attend a counseling program and perform 20 days of community service.
Had Clay been found guilty of vandalism, he would have spent three years behind bars. Instead, he’s a free man who’s simply out a lot of money.
A similar non-fate was bestowed upon the other man who also took a pickaxe to the star belonging to the president of the United States of America. That one, carried out by 53-year-old Jamie Otis, occurred back in October 26, 2016, soon before the election that swept the former reality television star into office. As punishment, Otis was given three years probation, 20 days of community service, and was forced to pay “only” around $4,500 in damages.