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The man who allegedly took a pickaxe to the star of Donald Trump along the Hollywood Walk of Fame last month, completely destroying the marker, pleaded not guilty Wednesday.
Clay Austin, 24, pleaded not guilty to felony vandalism, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.
Austin is accused of destroying the president’s star July 25, completely smashing the marker and leaving a hole in the cement. He turned himself in to police hours after the incident.
After his count appearance Wednesday, Austin spoke to the media.
“I don’t personally think that there should be any charges brought against me,” he told reporters outside the courthouse, according to ABC7 Los Angeles. “Because what I did, I believe, was a rightful and just act.
“I think that the repercussions of it were only positive,” he added. “I only wanted to bring about positive political change.”
He is due back in court Sept. 21.
In 2016, 53-year-old James Lambert Otis was taped destroying the star with a jackhammer and pickaxe.
He later pleaded no contest to one felony count of vandalism. Otis told those taping him he was committing the act in response to remarks he said the then-presidential candidate had previously made concerning sexual assault on the infamous Billy Bush tape.
If convicted, Austin could face a possible maximum sentence of three years in jail, according to authorities.
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