Man beats rap on courthouse-restroom vandalism case after 55 days in jail

A man who had been jailed for nearly two months awaiting trial in a felony case over damage to two Washington state courthouse restrooms beat the rap on Oct. 21, when a judge dismissed the case at the prosecution’s request because the government hadn’t shown damage exceeding $750.

Within hours, the judge learned that workers had racked up some $1,600 in costs to buff the marble and sand the wooden stall doors in two historic Chelan County Courthouse men’s rooms that had been defaced with gang-related graffiti, reports the Wenatchee World. Defendant Jesse J. Wawers was charged in the case after authorities noticed claimed similarities between the graffiti in the restrooms and graffiti in other cases in which he was charged, concerning different locations.

Even if Wawers had been convicted, he couldn’t have been sentenced to more than 60 days in jail and he had already served 55 while awaiting trial.

However, Chelan County deputy prosecutor Ed Stevensen now plans to ask the Wenatchee city attorney’s office to consider whether a misdemeanor case is warranted.

Earlier KOMO and Wenatchee World articles include photos of the damage.

None of the articles include any comment from Wawers or his legal counsel. Police said he denied damaging the courthouse restrooms but admitted responsibility for graffiti elsewhere in the city.

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