A Nebraska sociology professor was found guilty Monday of vandalizing the home of the NRA’s chief lobbyist with fake blood.
Patricia Hill was ordered to pay a $500 fine and stay away from NRA lobbyist Chris Cox, his home, his wife’s business, and the NRA offices in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Hill was also served Monday with an additional warrant stemming from a similar vandalism incident at Cox’s home in October.
“The motive here is that Mr. Cox works for the NRA; she doesn’t like that. That’s fine. She can exercise her First Amendment right,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Maana Parcham said Monday in Alexandria General District Court.
Cox testified that his two kids were home when the incident occurred – a fact prosecutors raised in detailing the crime’s impact.
“Some sort of blood-like substance was sprayed all over our front steps,” he said.
Hill was captured on surveillance cameras on January 11 spraying Cox’s home with a “red, gel-like substance.” She was spotted by a private security guard who recognized her from the previous vandalism incident in October.
Hill’s attorneys contested her responsibility for the initial act of vandalism in October, pointing out that one of two women who protested outside Cox’s home in April could have been responsible.
“I think the evidence shows that there is certainly reasonable doubt as to who committed this offense,” the attorney said.
Pro-Second Amendment lawmakers, activists, and lobbyists have seen an increase in extreme and occasionally violent anti-gun activism in the wake of recent mass shootings, which have mobilized public opinion against the gun industry.
Melody Vaccaro, vice president of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, came to the hearing to support Hill and accused Cox of hypocrisy for demanding an order of protection while lobbying for legislation that she believes makes all Americans less safe.
“We think this is the NRA using the criminal-justice system to rain terror on regular people,” Vaccaro told the Washington Post.
The judge in Tuesday’s hearing imposed a temporary protection order against Hill until the civil case can be heard in August.