Oldtown man sentenced in vandalism case

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SANDPOINT — An Oldtown man implicated in a wave of vandalism that washed over Priest River last summer has been ordered to serve 40 hours on the Bonner County sheriff’s labor program.

If Tyler K. Sears fails to complete the labor, he’ll have to serve 10 days in jail, according to court documents.

Sears was one of four people implicated in the vandalism spree in which vehicles were vandalized with spray paint and buildings were tagged with swastikas and profane denunciations of President Donald Trump. An all-terrain vehicle was also taken and ruined in a crash at a gravel pit, according to Priest River Police reports.

Sears, 19, was charged with 13 counts of misdemeanor malicious injury to property and one count of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, which also is a misdemeanor. Sears was accused of actually perpetuating the vandalism and the ATV theft or aiding and abetting Faith Longest, Kurtis Barker-Hayden and Melissa Starr.

The cases against Longest, Barker-Hayden and Starr, all of whom are juveniles, are sealed, according to the Idaho Supreme Court Data Repository.

During the vandalism jag, windshields and headlights were painted over with spray paint. A van was tagged with the words “I have candy. Get in,” police reports indicate. The ATV was vandalized and later totaled during a crash at a gravel pit.

Sears pleaded guilty to one count of vandalism and one count of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. He was given concurrent 90-day prison sentences with 85 days suspended and the balance of the custodial term converted to hours on the labor program.

He was also fined $400 and placed on probation for 18 months, court records show.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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