Tattoo Artist Accused Of Spray Painting Businesses Acquitted

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A tattoo artist accused of spray painting his logo on some businesses in Bismarck has been acquitted of felony criminal mischief.

The prosecutor who handled the case against 33-year-old Richard Hudson who had been scolded by the judge during the trial was fired before hearing the verdict Wednesday.

Hudson was accused of painting the word CRAN, which is his tag or logo, on a number of businesses and a railroad bridge causing about $18,000 in damage.

A jury deliberated for just 10 minutes before finding Hudson not guilty.

South Central District Judge John Grinsteiner earlier Wednesday raised his voice at Assistant Burleigh County State’s Attorney Scott Miller for mishandling prosecution exhibits, not properly preparing witnesses and ignoring an order the judge had issued, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Defense attorney Lloyd Suhr argued that Miller’s questioning of witnesses at times was attempting to sway the jury by branching out to businesses that weren't included in the case.

“You should be embarrassed,” Grinsteiner told Miller.

Before closing arguments, Grinsteiner granted Suhr’s motion for a mistrial. The defense attorney later withdrew his motion because Grinsteiner made it without prejudice, giving prosecutors the option to retry the case.

Burleigh County State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer appeared in the courtroom for the jury’s decision and confirmed Miller had been fired.