California Gubernatorial Candidate Nickolas Wildstar Convicted, Faces Up To 6 Years in Jail in Orange County Contempt Case

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A Libertarian party candidate running for governor of California was convicted on contempt of court charges on Friday by a jury in the superior court of Orange county.

Nickolas Wildstar, a community activist who hopes to unseat Gavin Newsom in the upcoming recall election, has ran for the position of governor multiple times since 2012. In 2014, he ran independent and in 2018 declared his candidacy as a member of the Libertarian party. Wildstar’s position as a candidate is officially registered with the Secretary of State.

Wildstar has successfully sued the City of Fullerton following a false detainment and arrest for robbery. Officers said he fit the description of a recent perpetrator. Wildstar characterizes the incident as “walking while black.”

The verdict hearing was livestreamed by the Orange County Superior Court on YouTube, with the verdict coming in at around 4:16 PM, PST. Wildstar was found guilty on six counts in total, three counts of contempt of court and three counts of disturbing the peace for disobeying a court order and recording a previous appearance for traffic tickets. Wildstar says his action of recording the hearing was justified under the first amendment.

A newly released secret video shows Wildstar’s court appearance, arrest by a judge, and eventual detainment in a holding cell.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of a year. If the judge chooses, Wildstar can face six years in jail.

Wildstar and his family are taking the situation day-by-day, unsure of what’s to come.

“I’m no longer going to be able to continue to raise my son, my first child, as expected with my wife.” he told me. “We’re faced with the possibility of her having to do that alone.”

“She’ll be yet another Black mother raising a single child on her own because her husband is in jail.” he said, speaking on the possibility of a long-term sentence.

His wife, Crystal, is a certified Holistic Health practitioner. She operates her own small business and has assisted him throughout his political campaign and struggle with his verdict.

Wildstar said his wife is “standing by and supporting” him in his decision to take his political future day-by-day following his guilty verdict.

Wildstar plans to appeal his verdict and upcoming sentence, and if the verdict is overturned, he plans to move forward with a civil lawsuit. Upon being asked whether he felt like he was being targeted, Wildstar had a lot to say.

“Absolutely.” he said definitively.

“I’m a Black man, number one, in Orange County which is predominantly white. The Black population in Orange County is less than two percent. There’s about six, ten million people here.” he went on.

“They have the view in Orange County, it leans a bit conservative, that respect of authority is essential to the foundation of our justice system.”

“You must obey the law.” he said of the attitude surrounding the justice system. Wildstar detailed a case in which two citizen journalists were facing the same charges he was convicted of, with the same judge presiding, but were acquitted.

He detailed suspicious practice by Law Enforcement at the hotel he was staying at for the night. Wildstar said officers were shining flashlights in parked cars without reason. Wildstar questions what their true motives were.

“You must obey the law.”

Nickolas Wildstar on the public opinion surrounding criminal justice in Orange County

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Wildstar is set to return to court for sentencing on March 12.

Ethan Biando
Ethan Biando is a freelance journalist from Sacramento. His writing focuses on crime, courts, and policing. Find him on Twitter @ethanb822

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