A man who vandalized the Olean Veterans' Wall of Honor monument was among several to plead guilty in Cattaraugus County Court just as trials were to have started Tuesday.
Gerald R. Nichols Jr., 25, of Olean, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mischief, making graffiti and spray-painting graffiti. Judge Larry M. Himelein set sentencing for Sept. 10.
Nichols used black spray paint Dec. 9 to deface the new monument dedicated Nov. 11, on Veterans Day. The memorial in War Veterans' Park carries the names of 160 Olean veterans dating back to World War I.
Public Defender Mark S. Williams said Nichols wants to take responsibility for his actions. Since he will be sentenced as a repeat felon, Nichols could face up to seven years in a state prison.
The incident upset not only committee members who worked to secure the monument, but local veterans, their families and others throughout the community.
Others pleading guilty Tuesday will be sentenced later this summer. They include:
* Roger A. Phearsdorf, 39, of Kill Buck, driving while intoxicated July 5 in the City of Salamanca.
* Dennis M. Plummer, 37, of Olean, fifth-degree attempted criminal sale of crack cocaine, Oct. 18 in the City of Olean.