A 25-year-old Glendale man admitted in court on July 9 to stealing a Marilyn Monroe statue from a public art sculpture in Hollywood last month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Austin Mikel Clay entered an open plea of no contest to one felony count each of grand theft of property valued at more than $950, and vandalism causing over $400 in damage. An open plea means a sentence was not negotiated with the district attorney’s office.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dorothy B. Reyes immediately sentenced the defendant to one year in county jail. Clay was also is required to pay $14,260 in restitution and will be placed on three years of formal probation.
During the early morning hours of June 16, Clay climbed an artwork and gazebo at Hollywood Boulevard and La Brea Avenue and sawed off the statue, which was located atop a radio tower that is part of the piece. The artwork is owned by the city of Los Angeles. Det. Douglas Oldfield, with the LAPD’s Holly-wood Division, said security camera footage showed the statue falling to the ground and breaking into pieces, although the pieces were not located.
Clay is the same defendant who was convicted last year of vandalizing a Hollywood Walk of Fame star belonging to Donald Trump. The defendant was arrested on June 21 at his home in Glendale after detectives compared footage of the statue theft with footage of the Trump star vandalism, and realized it was likely the same person.
Clay also admitted violating probation in the vandalism case, and he was ordered to remain on probation for the remainder of the three-year term.
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