A woman who admitted to spraying racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic images on multiple central Oklahoma properties in 2019 will avoid jail time.
Allison Christine Johnson, 46, faced a felony charge of malicious injury to property, three misdemeanor counts of malicious injury to property and one misdemeanor count of malicious intimidation or harassment.
She pleaded guilty Thursday in Cleveland County District Judge Michael Tupper’s courtroom and, per a plea agreement, was placed in the Cleveland County Mental Health Court Program, which is a highly structured, highly supervised therapeutic treatment court program designed to assist persons with serious mental illnesses, according to court records. The program has five levels and is designed to be completed within two years. Some individualized treatment plan features include supervision, drug testing, court appearances, case management, medication assistance, outpatient therapy and counseling.
Johnson turned herself in to police following incidents April 3 in Norman where racist images were used to deface the sculpture “Olivia,” walls and sidewalks outside the Firehouse Art Center, McKinley Elementary School and the Cleveland County Democratic Party headquarters.
She was originally arrested and held on complaint of making a terroristic threat, but she couldn’t be charged with that under Oklahoma statute, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said.
She was also believed to have vandalized the Democratic Party’s state headquarters and the Chickasaw Nation office in Oklahoma City on March 28.
The felony charged stemmed from vandalism done to the sculpture. Graffiti sprayed on the door and windows of the Cleveland County Democratic Party, the windows of the Junior League of Norman and on the sidewalks of McKinley Elementary each garnered misdemeanor charges.
Johnson apologized in court for her actions and said they were out of character for her, according to The Associated Press. Johnson could face two years in prison if she fails to complete the Mental Health Court Program.
The plaster “Olivia” sculpture was repaired by creator Richard McKown and Firehouse Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder in the weeks following the vandalism. McKown made the sculpture in the image of his then-7-year-old daughter Olivia about 12 years ago.
Elder estimated the repair cost as $3,500 in April. The restored sculpture was unveiled in mid-April.
McKown said Friday the two of them worked a combined 40 to 50 hours on the sculpture, including preparation and time ordering supplies. Sherwin-Williams also donated some supplies. Initially after the vandalism incident, the two of them covered the sculpture with a tarp and, later, a tent.
When asked about Johnson’s plea agreement and apology, McKown said he felt relieved that she felt sorry and wants to get better.
“It’s been a wild experience,” he said. “The sculpture has taken a whole new meaning since the vandalism happened.”
He said the restoration took a lot of their time, but it’s all good now.
“The sculpture needed repairs anyway,” McKown said, adding that people have come up to him and thanked him for restoring the sculpture and covering up the vandalism. “The response has been amazing. It’s very touching seeing how many people are taking ownership of the sculpture and seeing it as part of Norman.”
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