19-year-old pleads guilty to vandalism of churches | TahoeDailyTribune.com

19-year-old pleads guilty to vandalism of churches

Sheila Gardner

MINDEN – Calling it “a prank that went too far,” a 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to six counts of church vandalism.

Jonathon Walker of Gardnerville told District Judge Michael Gibbons that he committed the acts of graffiti and other vandalism at six Carson Valley churches June 6.

“I did it personally and with the help of other people,” Walker said. “We did it just as a prank, your honor, that went too far.”

Under a plea agreement that Gibbons is not bound to honor, Walker could be sentenced to up to six months in Douglas County Jail with credit for time served and placed on three years probation.

He also agreed to pay restitution believed to be about $6,000, but the final figure had not been determined.

Gibbons set sentencing for Aug. 21.

“What did you think as the adult?” Gibbons asked. “Should you have told the juveniles – and yourself – before you went too far, ‘This is dumb?'”

“I should have, your honor,” Walker said.

In juvenile court, additional charges may be filed against two of the three 17-year-olds who admitted participating with Walker in the attack on the churches.

All three were to be sentenced by Gibbons on Monday, but juvenile probation officials said two of the 17-year-olds were in custody after they tried to run away.

The third juvenile was placed on indefinite probation Monday and ordered to complete 96 hours of community service.

He was judged to be less culpable than the others, participating in two acts of vandalism.

The four were accused of defacing six churches with obscenities and satanic references to “666,” in connection with the date of the damage, June 6, 2006.

Damage was discovered at Trinity Lutheran Church, St. Gall Catholic Church and Carson Valley United Methodist Church in Gardnerville, Day Springs Christian Assembly on Tillman Lane in the Gardnerville Ranchos and Hilltop Community Church and Shepherd of the Sierra Church in northern Douglas County.

Graffiti also was discovered at Douglas High School and town homes on Ironwood Drive.

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