PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A man was convicted on Tuesday for multiple misdemeanors after he was arrested back in February in connection with the destruction of a roadside memorial for a fallen Pulaski County deputy, Sgt. Perry Hodge.
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office says the the roadside memorial on Route 11 was destroyed sometime during the overnight hours between Feb. 13 and Feb. 14.
“To whoever did this, let me explain a few things to you,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook back in February. “Perry Hodge was one of the most absolute best people to ever walk this planet.”
By Feb. 15, John L. Davidson was in custody for allegedly damaging the memorial, which was set up near the crash site where Hodge died in January.
On Tuesday, June 8, Davidson was convicted in the Pulaski County General District Court of a class 1 misdemeanor — destruction of property less than $1,000 — and received a 12-month suspended sentence that depends on him completing supervised probation and paying a $500 fine, according to Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith.
In addition, Davidson was convicted of another class 1 misdemeanor — reckless driving — and received a three month sentence with three month suspended, as well as the maximum driver’s license suspension of six months.
Davidson also entered a guilty plea to a third charge — leaving the scene of an accident less than $500 — and was placed on a 12-month probation. Griffith says the court will enter a conviction on that charge if Davidson does not follow the court’s conditions.
You can read the rest of Griffith’s statement about Davidson’s conviction below:
“The Commonwealth appreciates this young man accepting responsibility for his actions. The temporary memorial on Rt. 11 in memory of Sgt. Perry Hodge certainly means a lot to many people in this community, including my office. As someone who had no criminal convictions before today, we are hopeful and confident that Mr. Davidson abides by the Court’s orders and that his actions that day were an anomaly. Mr. Davidson was extremely remorseful for his actions. This case is a good example of how we don’t always know just how our actions can affect others. The Commonwealth is appreciative of the work of the Virginia State Police and the assistance of the public in this investigation.”Justin L. Griffith, Commonwealth’s Attorney of Pulaski County