Two men charged for damaging election signs in Spokane Valley
SPOKANE, Wash. — A grandson and grandfather were charged for intentionally damaging and removing political signs on private property in Spokane Valley.
Lawrence J. Wilson, 70, and Tyler J. Wilson, 23, were both charged for removing/ defacing political signs.
According to a release from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, a victim provided images from a motion-activated camera that reportedly show the two suspects damaging the signs of multiple Spokane Valley City Council candidates on two separate occasions.
On one occasion, Lawrence Wilson was seen tearing one of three signs in half. Other pictures showed Tyler Wilson dismantling a four-sign set and tossing the signs into a vacant lot.
When investigators questioned Lawrence, who lived nearby, he told them he tore down one of the signs because it blocked his view when he pulled out into the roadway.
He also told investigators he tore down signs the next day that had been put up in place of the old signs, despite photo evidence of Tyler tearing down those signs.
Investigators asked Lawrence about two other men seen in the photos, both of whom he denied knowing.
When investigators told Lawrence his information didn’t add up, and that he could be charged with an additional crime, he allegedly told them, “I don’t care, I’m 70-years-old. What are you going to do to me?”
Investigators returned to Lawrence’s house on September 5, during which they saw a car they recognized as Tyler’s pull into the driveway. Inside, they found Tyler and Lawrence in the passenger seat.
When asked to identify himself, Tyler told detectives he was Lawrence’s grandson, and admitted to tearing down the signs because they were bothering his grandfather.
Detectives later interviewed the third man in the photos, during which they learned he only watched but was not involved with destroying the signs. He was released.
Lawrence was charged with two counts of third-degree malicious mischief, two counts of removing/ defacing a political advertisement, and one count of making false or misleading statements to a public servant.
Tyler was charged with one count of malicious mischief and one count of removing/ defacing a political advertisement.
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