Judge orders man accused of defacing gay pride mural to write essay on Pulse nightclub shooting
A memorial outside the Pulse nightclub in August 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by John Panella/Shutterstock.com.
A Florida judge has ordered a man who admitted defacing a gay pride street mural with skid marks to write an essay on the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people.
Judge Scott Suskauer of Palm Beach County, Florida, said defendant Alexander Jerich, 20, must write a 25-page essay on the 2016 shooting at the gay nightclub that includes a “brief summary of why people are so hateful.”
Jerich pleaded guilty on March 1 to criminal mischief and reckless driving causing damage to property. The essay is due by his sentencing, scheduled for June 8.
Jerich apologized during the hearing last week. He told the judge that he has had problems in the past with fitting in, and he skidded his truck across the mural because he wanted to be accepted.
Jerich was part of a 30-car “President Trump Birthday Rally” in Delray Beach, Florida, when the incident happened. Bystanders said they heard someone yell to Jerich, “Tear up that gay intersection.”
Suskauer indicated in the hearing that he intended to withhold adjudication on the criminal mischief charge when Jerich is sentenced because of the stigma carried by convicted felons.
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