BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Trenton David Francis Devore, 19, of Jemez Pueblo was given three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution under a plea agreement June 7 in Los Alamos Magistrate Court.
Devore was arrested in March and charged with two felony counts and three petty misdemeanor counts of graffiti in connection with incidents of graffiti at five locations: a Los Alamos National Laboratory building on West Jemez Road, a location on the Canyon Rim Trail, a wall on Oppenheimer Street, the Pajarito Masonic Lodge on North Sage Loop and at the Los Alamos Skate Park.
Devore initially denied involvement but according to Court documents, eventually told Det. Ryan Wolking that he was trying to get his message out and that doing the graffiti was the best way to draw attention to the issues about which he cared. In Court, June 7, while his terms of probation were being discussed, Devore said, “I’m actually proud that I did this”.
Under the terms of the plea agreement reached with Deputy District Attorney Kent Wahlquist, Devore agreed to plead guilty to three reduced misdemeanor charges of attempting to commit graffiti. The charges related to the Canyon Trail graffiti and the skate park/dumpsters were dismissed as well as a charge of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Judge Pat Casados placed Devore on probation for three years and ordered him to pay $12,508 in restitution. He was also ordered to attend an ASPEN class which is an day-long class with the goal of providing information concerning the negative effects of criminal behavior.
The terms of restitution are set by probation officials and are based on what they determine Devore can afford to pay per month during his three years of probation. If the amount is not paid in full at the end of that time frame, the victims in the case reportedly have the option to file a civil case to attempt to recover the unpaid damages.
Wahlquist said case law requires that probation works with Devore to see what he can afford per month.
“Split evenly with three entities. I think all of us would have a hard time coming up with $12,000 to pay off somebody so it’s likely that they won’t get all of their money but as long as they get something back, that’s really what this is meant to do,” he said. “Probation is meant to rehabilitate. Restitution is meant to the victims whole. For three years trying to make a payment, I think with the ASPEN class along with it, it will change Mr. Devore’s behavior and he will understand it’s not just a lark to go out and spray paint things.”