Man who wrote protest messages in chalk not guilty of vandalism

Man who wrote protest messages in chalk not guilty of vandalism

fox5sandiego.com

[trib_ndn vid=24920963]SAN DIEGO —  A jury announced a verdict Monday in the case of a 40-year-old man charged with 13 misdemeanor vandalism counts for writing protest messages in sidewalk chalk in front of three Bank of America branches in San Diego.

Jeffrey David Olson is not guilty on all counts, the jury said.

Olson’s attorney argued during the trial — which garnered national attention — that his client was engaging in a legal protest and was not maliciously defacing of property.

Defense attorney Tom Tosdal argued that vandalism law required jurors to find something was “maliciously defaced.”

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

“I’m really relieved this has been an incredible situation,” said Olson.

Olson spoke to Fox 5 as he walked out of the courtroom.  He did not deny that he scrawled the anti-bank messages and artwork outside the banks…

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