CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Norman Nowling, 40 of Fort Myers, pleaded no contest Monday to criminal mischief charges and left a Charlotte County courtroom with no punishment levied against him.
Nowling was arrested in February after running over a 16-year-old's car during an impromptu monster truck rally at the Redneck Yacht Club. He originally pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Since the incident, Nowling has maintained that security guards at the club gave him permission to the run over the vehicle, which was already crushed from other trucks.
He was prepared to take his case to a jury trial, but wanted to end a lengthy and costly legal battle.
By pleading no contest, Nowling will not have to pay any fines and will not receive any points on his license. In fact, his record will be expunged, he says.
"I'm not happy with it by any means," Nowling said. "I'd rather see it 'not guilty'. I think it was major waste of tax dollars -- my money, your money. We all pay taxes, and this is where it goes."
According to Nowling, he has spent $20,000 and 8 months fighting the case in court.
Following the incident, he also cut a $6,500 check to the victim's family, which he says, was worth more than what the car cost.
At the time, the victim's family was not interested in pressing charges against Nowling, but prosecutors continued on with the case.