LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A 20-year-old Lansing man who pleaded guilty to spray-painting graffiti at the state Capitol has been sentenced to two years’ probation.

Jeffery Handley appeared Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court, where he also was ordered to pay nearly $3,100 in restitution to the State of Michigan.

The Lansing Community College student pleaded guilty earlier this fall to one count of destruction of a memorial or tomb, a charge that could have landed him behind bars for three months, in exchange for prosecutors dropping two malicious destruction of property counts.

Graffiti discovered Sept. 6 by police included male and female stick figures painted on the Capitol columns and the phrase “Give art a chance” on the memorial.

Handley told the Lansing State Journal his punishment was fair and if he did it again, he “would do it in chalk.” He said the graffiti was a way of putting his signature on “something that belongs to all of us,” although he admitted that spray-painting the war memorial “was excessive.”

“In my mind, I just saw a blank space,” Handley said.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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