A graffiti artist who was accused of more than 160 pieces of vandalism throughout the Santa Clarita Valley took a plea deal in court Tuesday.
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Nicolas Palma, 19, of Newhall, pleaded guilty to three counts of graffiti vandalism, and he pleaded no contest to a felony drug charge, a court official said Tuesday.
While Palma was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution, it doesn’t come close to the damage he’s caused, said one Newhall business owner.
Palma was sentenced to 270 days in jail, received five years on probation, 160 hours of graffiti-removal duty, and he was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution.
“What they just don’t understand with that vandalism is the problems that it causes for the businesses,” said Doug Green, owner of Douglas Furniture. “If people see that, they don’t want to frequent that business. And we spend man-hour after man-hour on (removal) — it just makes me sick.”
He and his employees like to have it off of the wall within an hour when they see it in the morning, he said, but taggers have also vandalized his trucks multiple times, and removing the graffiti ruins the paint job on his trucks, also.
The city is very responsive in helping to remove the graffiti, he said.
Palma vandalized several Newhall businesses with his graffiti tag “Kronz,” including Douglas Furniture and Three Little Fish.
Palma was caught on camera (pictured above), and then found with help from the community, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies.
Palma was ordered to pay $12,245 to the city of Santa Clarita, $1,000 to each of those businesses, as well as filing a “Harvey” waiver on the other counts, the official said.
A Harvey waiver allows a judge to consider dismissed charges during sentencing in a criminal case.
Normally, a judge may not consider those charges that have been dismissed when giving the punishment. This makes Palma eligible for additional restitution orders when he is formally sentenced.
Palma originally was charged with 12 counts of vandalism greater than $400 in damage, according to court records.
The court-ordered restitution payment helps, but it “doesn’t come close” to covering the cost of the vandalism, Green said.
“This guy has been hitting us for years,” he said. “And hopefully, he’ll get his lesson.”
Here’s the orignal story following Palma’s arrest for tagging.
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Source: Santa Clarita News