Austin Mikel Clay, the 24-year-old California man who took a pickaxe to President Donald Trump’s Hollywood star back in July, pleaded no contest to the felony vandalism charge against him, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday.
According to a news release from the LA District Attorney’s Office, Clay “entered a no contest plea today for vandalizing President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this summer.”
“Austin Mikel Clay, 24, pleaded to one felony count of vandalism causing over $400 in damage, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeff Megee,” the release reads. “Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kerry Bensinger immediately sentenced Clay to three years of formal probation, one day in county jail and 20 days of community labor. He also was ordered to attend psychological counseling and pay restitution of $9,404.46 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce under the negotiated plea agreement.”
While Clay reported the crime and turned himself in to the Beverly Hills police the day after, he initially pleaded not guilty. He admitted to the act of smashing the star but contested whether his actions were criminal.
It is unclear why he entered the plea deal, but possibly because he was given the option of serving one day in jail versus one to three years.
Clay vandalized Trump’s Hollywood star back in July. He was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism with a bail of $20,000. He was reportedly going to be bailed out by fellow vandal, James Otis, who used a sledgehammer and pickax to hack away Trump’s name on the star in 2016, but a GoFundMe account beat him to it.