ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Track Palin was formally accepted into a diversion court program Tuesday after assaulting his father, the former first gentleman of the state of Alaska, so severely it left him bleeding from the head.
Palin, the son of 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Todd Palin, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespass after breaking into the family home north of Anchorage last December. The change of plea will allow him to take part in Alaska's Veterans Court, a therapeutic diversion program intended to rehabilitate veterans.
If he completes the program, he will serve 10 days in jail. But under the plea agreement, if he doesn't complete the Veterans Court program, he will serve a year in jail. Palin, a 29-year-old Army veteran who served one year in Iraq, was initially charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor counts of assault and criminal mischief.
Palin, who was dogged by television cameras at a Monday Veterans Court appearance, did not appear in the Anchorage courtroom for Tuesday's change of plea hearing, and instead was allowed to call in from Wasilla.
Palin had attempted to bar the media from covering proceedings in Veterans Court, but the move was challenged by The Associated Press and Anchorage television stations KTVA and KTUU. Judge David Wallace ruled the media and the public have a right to be in the courtroom, but didn't allow cameras in.
During Monday's informal Veterans Court session, Wallace asked Palin how things were going for him. "Doing good, sir," Palin responded, adding he was taking classes and learning patience.