9271977 avoids jail time through plea agreement
November 13th, 2014 under Top Stories
By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA
JEFF DAVIS COUNTY – Waco artist Joseph Magnano, whose March 9 ‘artistic statement’ decrying the practices of the TOMS shoe company through the vandalism of Prada Marfa, has taken a plea agreement to avoid a trial, which had been set for Tuesday, November 18.
According to Jeff Davis County Clerk Jennifer Wright, Magnano pleaded guilty to two lesser charges of Class A misdemeanor criminal mischief for his “appropriation” of the Prada Marfa building.
Magnano, 37, was sentenced to one year in a county jail probated to two years, a $1,000 fine, and was ordered to pay $10,752 in restitution.
Magnano was originally indicted on two state jail felony criminal mischief counts on Thursday, April 17. Each charge carried a maximum of two years in state jail and fines reaching $10,000.
Magnano was arrested on suspicion of the extreme vandalism of Prada Marfa after it was discovered that the structure had been covered in a sparkling blue paint with images pasted on the windows.
A Big Bend Sentinel investigation uncovered a website – the now defunct www.9271977.com – in which other paintings had a similar signature. A quote from a manifesto left at the scene matched a quote on a similarly worded essay on the artist’s website. Authorities were able to track the website to Magnano.
Rod Ponton, the 83rd District Attorney, successfully prosecuted the case for the state and Ballroom Marfa, which, along with the Art Production Fund of New York, commissioned the art installation near Valentine.
“My office will continue to prosecute persons who destroy private property in this district,” Ponton said.
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