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No jail time for band whose 101 Freeway concert jammed traffic

October 30, 2012 |  8:28 am

Three members of a band that staged an impromptu concert in the middle of the 101 Freeway in Hollywood two years ago will not get jail time for their publicity stunt that caused massive gridlock.

Members of Imperial Stars -- Christopher Roy Wright, 34; David Paul Hale, 32; and Keith R. Yackey, 33 -- pleaded no contest on Monday to felony conspiracy, misdemeanor charges of public nuisance and interfering with law enforcement.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Norm Shapiro sentenced each one to three years' formal probation and ordered them to perform 35 days of community service. Despite an objection from prosecutors, he also ruled the felony could be reduced to a misdemeanor in 18 months.

The plea stems from a stunt on Oct. 12, 2010, in which a large truck sporting an advertisement for the band blocked all but one lane of the southbound 101 Freeway at Sunset Boulevard.

The truck driver fled with the keys while the band performed a concert atop the truck, complete with its own film crew. The group has a song called "Traffic Jam 101."

The freeway musicians didn't have more than about 20 minutes to perform before they were swarmed by Los Angeles Police Department officers, followed by California Highway Patrol officers and Fire Department personnel.

It is unclear whether the band is still together and performing.


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-- Andrew Blankstein