State of Florida v. Southworth (2014)
Criminal: Adjudication Withheld
An anonymous artist known as Keith Haring’s Ghost pained utility boxes in Jacksonville, in honor of artist Keith Haring, painting over the ugly grey and graffiti covered boxes with art. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office his graffiti appeared on 11 traffic control boxes owned by the City of Jacksonville. After months of investigation, police arrested our client Kevin “Chip” Southworth. Southworth was originally charged with a felony, but it was lowered after advocating the amount of damage caused to the utility boxes was less than $1,000 to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief.
After extensive negotiation, he entered a no-contest plea and the judge withheld adjudication, meaning no criminal conviction will appear on his record. More importantly, Chip started a conversation about art in public places.