Rafael Lopez of Santa Clarita places a sign at a memorial at the site where actor Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas were killed in a car crash Nov. 30, 2013.(Christina House / For The Times)
Two men pleaded no contest Tuesday to stealing the roof panel from a Porsche Carrera GT that “Fast and Furious” actor Paul Walker was riding in when he died in a fiery crash last year in Santa Clarita.
Jameson Brooks Witty, 18, and Anthony Edward Janow, 26, face up to six months in jail on misdemeanor charges of destroying evidence and resisting or delaying a police officer. Janow also pleaded no contest to felony grand theft, Witty to misdemeanor grand theft.
Authorities say that on the night of Nov. 30, the pair stole the roof panel from a tow truck carrying the destroyed Porsche away from the crash site -- even after a sheriff’s deputy told them they couldn’t take any vehicle parts.
The tow truck driver -- who had been stopped at a red light when the theft occurred -- reported it to authorities, officials said. Search warrants were served, and investigators found some of the parts at a home in Canyon Country.
A photo posted to an Instagram account for @jamesonwitty showed what the user claimed to be a piece of the Porsche from the crash: “Piece of Paul walkers car, took it off a tow truck at a stop light…#paulwalker” #rip #comeup.”
A second message posted on the same account offered an apology, in which the car enthusiast said he took the roof to make a memorial out of it.
“Paul was a childhood idol to me and many. At the time I was not thinking about the consequences it could have, I never wanted it to be like this I wasn’t going to sell the piece to make a profit,” the message reads. “Nobody in this world is perfect, we all make mistakes. Some bigger than others.”
Walker, 40, died Nov. 30 from a combination of traumatic injuries and burns after the Porsche crashed into a light pole in Santa Clarita and erupted in flames.
Roger Rodas, 38, Walker’s financial advisor and friend, was behind the wheel of the high-performance 2005 Porsche when it crashed. He was killed by the impact alone, a medical examiner concluded.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s report determined that the sports car was traveling at more than 90 mph.
Superior Court Judge Lloyd Nash indicated Whitty and Janow could each face about 180 days in jail, according the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Witty is due back in court for sentencing Aug. 14, Janow on Oct. 23.
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