Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 19, 2013

Man faces prison for wearing mask in Virginia theater


Associated Press

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A man faces up to five years in prison for wearing a clown mask in a Virginia Beach theater.

Twenty-year-old Jamar K. Washington Jr. also faces a $2,500 fine.

The Virginian-Pilot (http://bit.ly/ZPAzOo ) reports that Washington pleaded guilty Monday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to wearing a mask in public.

Prosecutors say Washington and 19-year-old Blake D. Newton caused a panic when they walked into the theater on Oct. 8, 2012 wearing clown masks.

The incident occurred just months after a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 others at a theater in Colorado.

Washington told police the men weren't aware of the Colorado massacre. He said they had worn the masks at malls and on buses without any problems.

Newton is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.