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Mass. man gets suspended sentence for crashing 'lemon' at Portsmouth dealership
BRENTWOOD - A Massachusetts man who crashed his "lemon" of a van to get back at a Portsmouth car dealership drew a suspended 1½- to 3-year prison sentence.
David Cross, 43, of Salisbury, Mass., pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal mischief as part of a plea deal that allowed him to avoid state prison time so long as he remains on good behavior.
Had he been convicted at trial, Cross could have been sentenced up to 3½ to 7 years in state prison. Cross backed out of a plea deal earlier this year and indicated he wanted to go on trial on the single count of criminal mischief. But plea negotiations continued up until his trial date the week of Oct. 29, when he entered his guilty plea.
Cross was indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury in January.
His dispute with the Portsmouth Used Car Superstore began in July, 2011, after he and his wife had bought a van from the dealer and tried to return it because he said it was a clunker, police said. The business refused, prompting Cross to return to the dealership around midnight on July 19, 2011 and plow his so-called lemon into six cars, prosecutors said. The wreck caused roughly $20,000 in damages.
The cars struck were a Mercedes C300, an Infiniti G35X, a Ford Mustang, a Nissan Pathfinder, a Volkswagen Rabbit and a Pontiac Montana, according to court documents.
Cross later told police he took the vehicle he bought to his mechanic, who concluded the van should be returned to the dealer because it had a variety of problems. Once Cross struck the parked vehicles, he walked across the street to where a police cruiser was parked, telling an officer what he just did, according to police. He then led them back to the wrecked vehicles, police said.
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