Chalk-graffiti case handed to jury - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Chalk-graffiti case handed to jury

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jury deliberations began Friday in the trial of a 40-year-old man charged with 13 misdemeanor vandalism counts involving protest messages in sidewalk chalk in front of three Bank of America branches in San Diego.

The case, which has received national attention, pits the rights of someone to protest in public against repeated impositions on bank personnel.

Jeffrey David Olson faces 13 years in prison if convicted of all counts, and if he's sentenced on each one consecutively.

His lawyer, Tom Tosdal, said vandalism law requires that jurors find something was "maliciously defaced."

"His purpose was not malicious. His purpose was to inform," Tosdal said of his client.

Olson has not denied that he scrawled anti-bank messages and artwork outside the banks last year.

The prosecution of Olson has brought condemnation of the City Attorney's Office from Mayor Bob Filner, who called it a waste of time.

Tosdal said it was an "enormous waste of public resources." He said bank officials demanded the prosecution because they didn't like his client's message.

However, Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard told the jurors that there are ways to get one's message out, and the defendant intentionally chose to break the rules.

If he'd used the chalk just a couple of times, he wouldn't have ever been caught, but "he went back again and again and again," she said.

Hazard said Olson had to make "a real nuisance of himself" to attract the attention of law enforcement.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Cab driver killed in accident with wrong way driver

    Cab driver killed in accident with wrong way driver

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:26 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:26:55 GMT
    There was a deadly crash on Interstate 5 in Old Town and police say a wrong way driver is to blame. 
    There was a deadly crash on Interstate 5 in Old Town and police say a wrong way driver is to blame. 
  • Woman survives paragliding crash in La Jolla

    Woman survives paragliding crash in La Jolla

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:15:54 GMT
    Lifeguards say a woman is thankful to be alive, after a paragliding crash near the Torrey Pines Glider Port. 
    Lifeguards say a woman is thankful to be alive, after a paragliding crash near the Torrey Pines Glider Port. 
  • Driver may face murder charges in deadly crash

    Driver may face murder charges in deadly crash

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:56:30 GMT
    Two people are dead and a suspected drunk driver is in the hospital, after a crash in the East County on westbound Interstate 8, east of Lake Jennings Park Road in Blossom Valley Saturday morning. 
    Two people are dead and a suspected drunk driver is in the hospital, after a crash in the East County on westbound Interstate 8, east of Lake Jennings Park Road in Blossom Valley Saturday morning. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.