Four men pleaded guilty last week Friday to misdemeanor charges of property damage for their participation in the Election Day 2004 tire-slashing. The defendants were all workers for the Kerry-Edwards campaign, and the 40 tires they slashed were on 25 vans rented by the Republican party to transport inner-city voters to the polls.
The guilty men include:
- Lavelle Mohammed, 26
- Lewis G. Caldwell, 29
- Sowande Omokunde, 26, son of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)
- Michael Pratt, 33, son of former acting Milwaukee Mayor, Marvin Pratt
The four men must collectively pay approximately $5,300 in restitution prior to their sentencing on April 26. In exchange, the District Attorney will recommend they only get probation. The charges carry a maximum possible penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The guilty pleas came while the jury deliberated in their trial on felony charges. The defendants claimed that the Democratic party set up the defendants to take the rap for the crime.
No estimate has been made of the number of inner-city voters who were disenfranchised because they were unable to get to the polls.