Max Wade, the teenager who stood trial for stealing the yellow Lamborghini Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri owned from a San Francisco dealership — and also for attempted murder — in Marin County, California, was found guilty on Wednesday of auto theft and one count of attempted murder. The alleged thief was caught more than a year later by the police, and on Monday, Guy Fieri testified against him at Wade’s trial.
Wade, 19, was convicted by a jury of nine men and 3 women of trying to murder his rival in a love triangle,Landon Wahlstrom, though he was not found guilty of trying to kill his girlfriend, Eva Dedier, on the day of April 13, 2012.He was also convicted of auto theft. The jury, as well, found Wade guilty of shooting into a vehicle which was occupied, using a firearm, in what the jury said was a premeditated act of violence.
The trial, which lasted almost a month, took place in Marin County Superior Court. Max Wade’s face was emotionless, as it has been for most of the trial, when the verdict was read.
The verdict that the jury reached was that Wade was guilty of some of the crimes he was accused of, but not all of them. For example, as to whether or not Wade stole the yellow Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder which Guy Fieri owned, the jury said that Wade was not guilty. Yet, the jury found Wade guilty of car theft and of being in the possession of a stolen vehicle.
During the trial on Monday, Fieri said that he had not met Wade ever before, and had never told him that he had permission to drive his car on March 8, 2011.
In 2011, Wade allegedly rappelled into British Motors in San Francisco where Fieri’s $200,000 convertible Lamborghini was awaiting repairs.
Prosecuting Yvette Martinez said the reason Wade stole the yellow Lamborghini was to impress Dedier. She added that, to get her attention, Wade was willing to kill.
Judge Kelly Vieira Simmons will sentence Wade when he returns to court of December 17. Legal experts have said that Wade is likely facing anywhere from 20 years to life for his crimes.
Eva Dedier’s mother, Cindy, said she was “not happy with the verdict.” She added that she considered Wade “guilty of trying to kill my daughter.”
Charles Dresow, Wade’s lawyer, argued that he believed the possible sentence Wade could receive is too harsh. Dresow stated that Wade “was 17 when he committed the crime” and should not receive the sentence that someone who is older, like 25 or 35, would receive.
The alleged shooting which Wade was convicted of occurred in Mill Valley, on Evergreen Avenue,in front of Wade’s house. Wade allegedly fired 5 shots at Landon Wahlstrom,and Eva Dedier.
Wahlstrom, 19, and Dedier, 18, ducked, and they were not hit by the bullets.However, because they ducked, they did not get a good view of their attacker, who was wearing black cloths and had a helmet visor on which hide his face.
In Richmond, after over a year had gone by, the police were able to track Wade down to a storage locker, they discovered the gun, two assault weapons, climbing gear, clothing, shotgun shells, helmet and motorcycle which Wahlstrom and Dedier described their assailant as wearing. The Lamborghini belonging to Guy Fieri was also there.
Just last year, Wade was again in the headlines, when two people attempted to break into the juvenile hall where Wade was incarcerated. The pair used sledgehammers, but they met with failure in their attempt to break him out of prison.
To ensure security, during the trial authorities kept Wade tethered to a chair which was bolted to the floor.
Though Wade plead not guilty to all counts, the jury convicted him on Wednesday. Guy Fieri was in Chicago on a film shoot for his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives when he was informed that his $200,000 yellow Lamborghini had been stolen. He stated that, at the time, he “thought it was a bad joke.”
Written by: Douglas Cobb