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Man who smashed East Palo Alto church windows takes plea deal

San Jose man faces 108 days in county jail

A man who smashed windows at three East Palo Alto churches because he needed to use a bathroom has pleaded no contest to felony vandalism, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Robert Banks, 21, of San Jose faced three felony counts for the Jan. 26 incidents, which occurred at The Church of Living God and Mt. Olive Missionary Church on Pulgas Avenue and Street Open Door Church of God on O'Connor Street. Damage was estimated to exceed $5,000. Banks told police he could not find a bathroom in the churches, according to the district attorney's office.

Banks pleaded no contest on Friday, May 23, to one count of felony vandalism. He originally faced three felony counts. Under the plea deal, Banks would receive three years of supervised probation and 108 days in county jail with credit for time served. He must receive counseling and would pay for the damaged windows in a sum to be determined by the court.

Banks will be sentenced on July 3. He remains in custody on $10,000 bail.

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