Two of the three men who successfully BASE jumped 1,368 feet from the communication ring at One World Trade Center in the fall of 2013—James Brady, 32, and Andrew Rossig, 33—have been sentenced to hundreds of community service hours and a $2,000 fine each. The third jumper, Marko Markovich, 26, will likely be sentenced next week.
“They made a very poor decision,” Judge Juan Merchan said in State Supreme Court on Monday. “These defendants tarnished the building before it even opened and sullied the memories of those who jumped on 9/11 not for sport, but because they had to."
According to the NYTimes, Judge Merchan rejected the prosecution's request for a 60-day prison sentence, adding that Brady and Rossig seemed to be "decent men," even though "there have been times that it’s come across the defendants believe this is some kind of joke."
CBS reports that the men were criticized in court for publicizing the jump and acting like heroes. Assistant DA Joseph Giovannetti drove the point home by holding up the jumpers' Maxim cover story.
The men took their daring jump on September 30th, 2013, around 3:00 a.m. During the trial, which started this June, Brady, an ironworker, admitted to stashing parachutes and other equipment inside 1 WTC for Markovich and Rossig while working at the site. While friend Kyle Hartwell, 29, stood by as lookout, the three men made the leap with helmet-mounted GoPros.
Brady's helmet video of the BASE jump was released in March of last year, and all four men turned themselves in to the NYPD. The video quickly earned Brady folk hero status, while also serving as crucial evidence—it documents Rossig and Markovich jumping from the tower ahead of him, and Brady himself landing on the West Side Highway.
While all three jumpers were initially charged with burglary, reckless endangerment and illegal BASE jumping (there's a city ordinance against jumping off of buildings), a jury acquitted the trio of felony charges for burglary early in the trial proceedings.
One piece of evidence used in the trial was a note that Rossig left for his mother right before the jump took place. "If I’m gonna be away for longer than 6 mo sell the property all the info for it and the house is in the file cab," he wrote of the home he owns. "I love you very much and I needed to write some History so sorry again, Love Andrew."
Yesterday Rossig said, "We didn’t want this whole thing blown out of proportion. We understand what we did could possibly have endangered other people, and it’s never going to happen again.”
Rossig will serve 200 hours of community service, while Brady will serve 250.