Benny Washington wants leniency for bombers

August 3, 2006

EyeWoodham Basketball Coach Benny Washington in a conversation with IN Editor Duwayne Escobedo says some in the community would like to paint him as a man with “no compassion at all.”

But Washington in a letter to the State Attorney’s Office, defense attorneys and major media outlets is calling for leniency in the cases of four teenage boys who placed explosives in his mailbox and others and damaged them.

The State Attorney’s Office in a July 24 juvenile court hearing transferred the four juveniles, ages 14-17, to adult court and charged them with three first-degree felonies, which would mean a maximum sentence of 30 years per charge in state prison, if convicted. Some saw the move as purely political.

Washington says, “I want these boys prosecuted for the crime of criminal mischief,” which is a misdemeanor.

The boys face arraignment in adult court Aug. 18. Washington in his statement says about the felony charges and transfer to adult court: “This shocked and disappointed me almost as much as the initial transgression by the boys. I recognize that all discretion as to how these boys will be prosecuted likes with the State Attorney’s Office, and that I am only one citizen who may be a witness in the case.”

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One Response to “Benny Washington wants leniency for bombers”

  1. Joe Says:

    Is he saying the News Journal misquoted him? From the initial article:

    “I asked [my son] one day after dinner if he wanted to do the dishes or check the mail,” Washington said. “He said he would do the dishes. Now what kid says that?” (Perhaps the better question is: what father would give such a weird choice? “Well son, you can either clean your room, vacuum the den, or go be your paranoid daddy’s bomb detector.”)

    “A woman at juvenile justice called and asked if it would be sufficient for them to apologize and fix my mailbox, but they have got to do something better than that.”

    So, the authorities were initially going to let them off the hook, but because of you, they’ll be tried as adults for three felonies, and now you send out press releases touting your own compassion and forgiveness? What happened to the guy who said, “I would like to see [them get] the maximum penalty” and, “I consider this a terrorist act”?

    These sort of pranks were common during my pre-9/11 high school days. What’s next — will prosecutors seek felony arson charges for “flaming bags of poo”?

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