On Thursday, a Lamar County jury convicted John Alfred Petersen of Criminal Mischief $2,500-$30,000 in a trial before Judge Bill Harris of the County Court-at-Law, according to First Assistant District Attorney Benjamin I. Kaminar.
“The defendant used his motorized wheelchair to repeatedly ram a car waiting in the pickup line at Crockett Intermediate School, causing over $3000 worth of damage,” Kaminar said. “Other parents attempted to intervene and one recorded the incident on her cell phone.”
After hearing testimony about the incident and watching the recording, the jury returned a guilty verdict in under five minutes. During the punishment phase, the jurors heard testimony about Petersen being on probation for a similar episode of vandalism that happened in December 2018. Because he was requesting that the jury give him probation again, Petersen testified during the punishment phase. When asked by his attorney, Clay Johnson, if he felt any remorse for his actions after being convicted, Petersen told the jury, “No.” The jury responded by sentencing him to 1 year in state jail.
“The jury’s verdict and 1 year sentence show that our community is sick of Petersen’s repeated vandalism and harassment of drivers,” said Assistant District Attorney Nick Stallings. Petersen is currently awaiting a hearing to revoke his probation from the 2018 incident and is also awaiting trial on another criminal mischief charge alleged to have occurred in January 2021.