David Japenga Sentenced to between 6 and 18 Months

Note: The news story below is somewhat confusing.  We’ve been told that what the sentencing means is that David Japenga has a sentence of 6 months that could be extended to 18 for violations of jail policies.  With about 4.5 months of time served, David should be out in 6 weeks if all goes well.  His mailing address has been the one below, we haven’t confirmed if he’s being transferred or not.

David Japenga 153760
950 Second Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

From PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW – By Bobby Kerlik

An Allegheny County judge this morning declined to free from jail the man blamed for much of the damage in Oakland during G-20 protests last year.

Common Pleas Judge Edward J. Borkowski sentenced David Japenga, 21, to six to 18 months in the Allegheny County Jail. Japenga has been in the Uptown lockup since the judge revoked his bond following his August conviction by a jury. Japenga has about four months’ credit toward his sentence.

The jury convicted Japenga of four misdemeanors and a felony for breaking windows at Citizens Bank, Irish Design Center and Quizno’s on Sept. 24 while world leaders met in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

Japenga told the judge that his time on house arrest with electronic monitoring made him reflect on his life. Since moving from California to Pittsburgh in the months before the Group of 20 summit, Japenga said he liked living in Pittsburgh.

But the judge held up a flyer found in the house Japenga was living in with several other people after he was arrested. The flyer read, “We want to riot, not work.”

“It appears to me you came into Allegheny County solely for the purpose to engage in this conduct,” Borkowski said.

Japenga said that house was filled with many people with different personalities.

“I didn’t come to Pittsburgh to riot. I came here to live here,” Japenga said. “It was not my motive to destroy property.”

About a dozen of Japenga’s friends attended the sentencing but declined comment.

Defense attorney Patrick Nightingale said his client was working as a messenger prior to his incarceration and that job was waiting for him when he got out. Nightingale said he was disappointed in the sentence but was glad the judge didn’t put Japenga in state prison, which prosecutors asked for.

“I had hoped he’d be released to be with his family for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Nightingale said.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Chernosky argued Japenga was responsible for about $15,000 in damage to the three businesses on Fifth Avenue and Craig Street. Japenga must pay that money back.

Police arrested about 200 people during demonstrations in Oakland and elsewhere in the city.

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