DA drops case against chalk writer

2012-09-28T16:45:00Z 2012-09-28T21:24:22Z DA drops case against chalk writerKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
September 28, 2012 4:45 pm  • 

The case against a 29-year-old woman arrested and charged with vandalism for writing “9/11 Truth” and other statements in chalk on the First Street Bridge over Napa Creek was dismissed Friday in Napa County Superior Court.

Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein said his office has dismissed the case against Amy Larson in the interest of justice.

“After full review of all the facts and circumstances surrounding this case, we determined a dismissal of this matter was in the best interest of justice,” Lieberstein said Friday afternoon. He declined further comment.

Larson’s case whipped up a storm of protests online after she was arrested on Sept. 11 and then charged with misdemeanor vandalism for writing the chalk messages on public sidewalks.

Police contended her writings were similar to many others in Napa, an allegation Larson denied.

Her defenders said she was within her free speech rights to write in chalk, which, unlike spray paint, would soon be worn away.

Larson, who is married and is employed as a cellar worker, said she chose to spend 30 hours in jail rather than pay bail.

She said she wrote the messages with children’s chalk in an effort to have people think for themselves.

She made her first court appearance Wednesday when she was assigned a public defender. She was due to return in court on Oct. 24.

Napa Police brought the case to the district attorney’s office. On Friday, Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly said “ We respect his decision to not move forward with the prosecution.”

Larson could not be reached for comment Friday.

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(9) Comments

  1. UncleStuy
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    UncleStuy - September 28, 2012 3:05 pm
    Gee, could it up been the number of comments made on the NVR regarding this same subject ??? .
  2. Napa
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    Napa - September 28, 2012 3:09 pm
    Amen and congrats to Amy. I was hoping it would be dismissed! She was within her rights to voice her opinion through innocent chalking.
  3. napa1957
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    napa1957 - September 28, 2012 5:44 pm
    Yay! I have lots of comments to make and a brand new box of chalk, now that I know it's ok!
    Watch out world.....
  4. sayswho
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    sayswho - September 28, 2012 8:23 pm
    The use of pet name "Chalky" to try and garner 'big city news' interest is hilarious! Also, anybody notice the volume of one sentence paragraphs used herein? LOL
  5. rnnapaca
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    rnnapaca - September 28, 2012 9:56 pm
    It is too bad that our DA's office does not uphold our laws.
  6. Joey_Amari
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    Joey_Amari - September 29, 2012 1:03 am
    rnnapaca, you don't know the half. Hey Gary, how about all those people you and your people do choose to prosecute who have done less "harm" to the public than even this woman has? This one you had to let go, the publicity was too damaging. "In the interest of justics...."... well, at least we got a laugh out of it. They say that's the key to health
  7. Joey_Amari
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    Joey_Amari - September 29, 2012 1:05 am
    Incidentally, congratulations Mrs. Larson, for escaping the talons of our local justice (sic) system.
  8. diamond4850
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    diamond4850 - September 29, 2012 8:42 am
    As I posted on the first article: Chalk it up and be done with it...maybe my comment helped this lady
  9. kevin
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    kevin - September 29, 2012 8:58 pm
    Save me some room on the sidewalk! I have to warn the world about Obama...
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