DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A man convicted of burning tire marks across a gay-pride streetscape in South Florida while participating in a rally for former President Donald Trump last summer must write a 25-page essay on the deadly 2016 shooting at a gay nightclub in the state.
A Palm Beach County circuit judge ordered Alexander Jerich, 20, of Lake Worth, to write the essay during a Thursday hearing, according to court records. The essay about the 49 people killed during the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando is due at a June 8 sentencing hearing for Jerich.
Jerich previously pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless driving. Prosecutors are asking for 30 days in jail, community service and five years of probation, while defense attorneys argue for only community service and three years of probation.
Jerich joined a convoy of about 30 vehicles last June om Delray Beach to celebrate Trump’s birthday, officials said. A video that quickly went viral showed a white pickup truck adorned with a Trump flag and registered to Jerich’s father burning tire marks into a rainbow design painted on the road at an intersection.
Officials said the design had been unveiled just a day earlier to celebrate Pride Month, which is meant to promote LGBTQ rights.