A follower of the band Insane Clown Posse convicted of assaulting a man strolling through Graceada Park with his daughters in March 2009 was back in court this week after being caught with fellow members of a criminal street gang police call Juggalos.
Joshua Huggins, 18, could have faced seven years in prison for violating his felony probation. Instead, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley sentenced Huggins on Tuesday to three months in county jail with a stern warning.
"I think he got scared this time," said Bill Miller, Huggins' attorney. "(The judge) cautioned him that there would be no more chances."
A probation officer testified that Huggins was hanging around people known to law enforcement as Juggalos, owned a clown T-shirt and posted Juggalo content on his MySpace page, Miller said.
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Huggins was among three people convicted and sentenced to a year in jail for the assault on William August, 54. A fourth man, Larry Williams, got seven years in prison for the attack.
Deputy District Attorney Marlisa Ferreira, who prosecuted the men, acknowledged not all people who listen to the Detroit-based Insane Clown Posse are gang members. But she said the men are more than fans of the band, whose lyrics are so raw they wouldn't be heard on mainstream radio, because they travel in a pack; share a common sign or symbol, in this case the cartoon hatchet man associated with the band; and commit crimes.
According to witnesses, Petersen ran up to August, asked to shake his daughters' hands, received a rebuff because he made the family uncomfortable, then returned about 10 minutes later with his friends, who toppled August and kicked him, breaking his leg in two places and shattering his knee.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2337.