Reports from last Friday indicate that authorities foiled an escape attempt by teenager Max Wade who was charged last month with stealing celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini in March of 2011. At approximately 4:30 a.m. on Friday, Marin County Juvenile Hall staff heard banging on the facility walls and, upon investigation, observed two individuals hitting the walls with a sledge hammer.
The individuals fled before authorities arrived at the scene and searched the buildings and surrounding neighborhood. Investigators discovered holes cut into two perimeter fences, a sledge hammer, bolt cutters and a damaged window at Wade’s cell. Also found was a backpack containing a change of clothes.
Although authorities do not have evidence linking Wade to the operation, prosecutors stated that Wade could face additional charges if connected to the botched escape. According to the article, Wade, in addition to the car theft, has been charged with attempted murder, burglary and other unidentified crimes.
Wade could be charged for the car theft under either California Penal Code (“CPC”) 487(d)(1), grand theft auto, or California Vehicle Code (“CVC”) 10851, unlawful taking of a vehicle or “joyriding” depending on what he intended on doing with the car.
If prosecutors can prove that Wade intended on permanently depriving the owner of the car, i.e. intended to “steal” it, then he can be convicted under CPC Section 487(d)(1). If Wade only intended on temporarily deprive the owner of the car, he may only be convicted under CVC Section 10851. Generally, grand theft auto is charged as a felony and, as in this case, if the car’s value is more than $200,000, the offender can face an additional and consecutive two-year sentence.
Further, if investigators are successful in discovering evidence linking Wade to the escape plot, he could be charged with an additional felony under California Penal Code Section 4530(b), which provides: Every prisoner who commits an escape or attempts an escape as described in subdivision (a), without force or violence, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years to be served consecutively. No additional probation report shall be required with respect to such offense.
Accordingly, under the cited statutory provision, Wade, if convicted of the escape offense, could receive an additional 16 months to three years in prison which could run consecutive to any sentence he receives on the underlying charges.
Both car theft and escape charges are very serious and can result in severe penalties. It goes without saying that anyone accused of either offense should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
Orange County criminal defense attorney Lauren K. Johnson has extensive experience protecting the rights of the accused. If you have questions regarding California’s criminal law or your rights, contact attorney Lauren K. Johnson today.