Austin Mikel Clay, the man who destroyed Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a pickaxe, has been sentenced to one day in jail, plus community service, probation, and thousands of dollars in restitution, Yahoo News is reporting.
Back in July, as The Los Angeles Times reported that Clay went up to the much-maligned monument in the wee hours of the morning and, wielding a pickaxe, smashed it up beyond all recognition. He then turned himself in to police.
On Wednesday, Clay pleaded “no contest,” to a charge of vandalism. The “no contest” plea essentially means that, without admitting guilt, he will not submit himself to a trial either.
In exchange for his plea, Clay was sentenced to one day in jail, plus 20 hours of community service, and three years of probation. He must also pay $9,400 in restitution to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and attend psychological counseling.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, when Clay will report to jail (if he hasn’t already done so).
Clay was not the first person to vandalize Trump’s star. Back during the 2016 presidential campaign, elevator-company heir James Otis vandalized the star, using a sledgehammer and a pickaxe. Like Clay, Otis later pleaded “no contest” to vandalism, and was sentenced to three years of probation and 20 days of community service, and ordered to $4,400 in restitution.
A man who destroyed President Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a pickax in July reached a plea deal requiring him to pay nearly $9,500 for the marker’s replacement https://t.co/LSpmCBD8TJ— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 8, 2018
Oddly enough, when Otis learned of Austin Clay’s address for his (Clay’s) almost identical crime, Otis offered to bail him out of jail, and even offered to pay his legal bills, as The New York Daily News reported at the time. As it turned out, however, that wasn’t necessary: an unidentified “private donor” and money raised through a GoFundMe account had already stepped in to pay his bail even bore Otis could.
As for Clay’s court-ordered restitution, it remains unclear if that will be paid by Clay himself, through any money that may remain from his GoFundMe, by Otis, or by any combination thereof.
As for Trump’s star, it was installed in 2007, at the height of his fame for his roles on The Apprentice franchise. Largely ignored for ten years, since 2016 it has become a hot-button issue. In addition to the two known acts of vandalism against it, it has been stomped on, urinated on, defaced with stickers, had a metaphorical wall built around it, and has been the scene of brawls between supporters and opponents. The West Hollywood City Council even passed a resolution asking the agency that manages the Walk of Fame to revoke his star, something that they later said they would not do.