After months of legal proceedings and a public apology to the City of Kenai, Mark Maserra has been sentenced for a charge relating to graffiti he placed around the city and can being moving on.
“I’m just relieved right now,” Massera said after his sentencing at the Kenai Courthouse on Wednesday. “I’ve still got a lot in front of me.”
In September, Massera pleaded guilty to a count of criminal mischief in the fourth degree — a class A misdemeanor — after previously having spray painted the word “agony” in eight different spots around Kenai. He has cited struggling with trying to stay sober as a factor that led to the graffiti.
Massera was sentenced to 160 hours of community service hours, which must be completed by June 1, 2016. He will also have to be electronically monitored with an ankle bracelet for six months, he said.
Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet suspended Maserra’s $1,000 fine. He and Defense Attorney Josh Cooley agreed that Massera’s show of remorse since being charged and his efforts to help other people facing issues with addiction have had a positive effect on the case’s outcome.
“This is a hiccup and not a detour,” Cooley said at the sentencing. “He wants to move forward in a positive way.”
Massera said he views the sentencing as a positive thing. He will be able to continue working throughout his probation and save money for the restitution he is required to pay for the damage caused by the graffiti, the amount of which is still unknown, he said.
“I have really good people in my life,” Massera said. “The recovery community … they have always supported me.”
One of those people is his roommate, Eli Waldrip, who said he has also struggled with addiction and run-ins with the law in the past. The two have known each other for four or five years, and Waldrip said they attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings together.
Waldrip said it is sometimes easier to accept support from someone who has gone through similar experiences.
“You can tell people about addiction until you’re blue in the face,” he said. “It’s hard to take advice from somebody who hasn’t been through it.”
Looking forward, Massera said he will continue working at his new job as the manager of an electronic cigarette store to raise money for his restitution. He is also eager to being able to pay forward the support he has gotten from others.
“Truly, somebody helped me,” he said. “Somebody gave me what they had … and I give that back to somebody else.”
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.