Benny Washington wants leniency for bombers
August 3, 2006
Woodham 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.”