“I don’t personally think there should be any charges brought against me because what I did I believe was a rightful and just act, and I think that the repercussions of it were only positive,” said Austin Clay on Wednesday after pleading not guilty to a felony count of vandalism in L.A. Superior Court.
Looking at a potential three years behind bars for his pre-dawn July 25 pickaxe attack on the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s Hollywood honor, Clay was formally charged back on August 6 by the LA Country D.A.’s office. A LAPD investigation into the incident is still ongoing we hear and Clay is now scheduled to return to court on September 21.
No tweet from President Trump on Clay’s statement of this afternoon, yet.
PREVIOUSLY, August 6: The first guy to take a pickaxe to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame didn’t end up getting jail time, but the second guy might not be so fortunate.
Less than two weeks after an early-morning attempt to destroy the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s piece of Hollywood Boulevard, Austin Clay was formally charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney today with a felony count of vandalism. Bail was set at $20,000 with an arraignment set for August 15. If found guilty, the 24-year-old Clay faces a maximum sentence of three years behind bars.
Clay, who turned himself in to Beverly Hills Police not long after the 3:30 AM assault on Trump’s star July 25, is currently out on the street since the incident thanks to Jamie Otis, who smashed the now-President’s star back on October 26, 2016. Otis, an heir to the Otis Elevator fortune, put up bail for Clay soon after the latter’s attack.
Initially raked over the legal and cultural coals for his mix of political protest and performance art, the then-53-year old Otis ended up serving no jail time after pleading no contest in L.A. Superior Court for his act. Instead, the lawyered-up Otis on February 21, 2017 was handed three years of formal probation and 20 days of community work. The self-described activist was also ordered to pay $3,700 to the Hollywood Historic Trust and $700 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to repair the damage done to Trump’s star.
While awaiting today’s charges, Clay and his PR reps have been peddling a self-described “exclusive interview” with the now accused vandal to various outlets with an expectation of financial compensation. The damage Clay did to the much-abused and often fought over Trump star was also fixed within hours.
According to L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office, the LAPD, Hollywood Station continues to investigate Clay’s case.