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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:41 pm
An aspiring physicist was sentenced Monday to more than eight years in prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million for his role in a spree of arson and vandalism that targeted gas-guzzling Hummers and other sports utility vehicles.
Rejecting pleas for clemency from William Cottrell, a 24-year-old doctoral candidate in physics at the California Institute of Technology, U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner added more time to the sentence after finding that Cottrell was trying to sway consumers with his anti-SUV message.
The slogans Cottrell spray-painted onto vehicles included “Fat Lazy Americans,” “No Respect for Earth” and “SUV Terrorism.”
Cottrell, who admitted only spray-painting and testified he did not know that two friends were bringing Molotov cocktails, promised he would never break the law again.
The two friends have fled the country to avoid prosecution, authorities said.
Where did they go? Any guesses?
UPDATE. jlyoder in comments: “I’m so embarrassed to be a physicist.”