In agreement with the St. Paul’s School administration, the teens charged in connection with vandalism of the school back in April have pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count each of criminal damage to property with graffiti under $500.
According to Nola.com, Owen Edwards and Carter Hall, both 18, were placed on two years probation and must serve five weekends in St. Tammany Parish jail, perform 50 hours of community service, pay $600 in restitution to Crimestoppers, and write an apology letter to the school and a 10-page essay on religious intolerance to be graded by the judge, himself.
According to courtroom reporter Beth Cannon, SPS President/Principal Bro. Ray Bulliard, FSC, met with District Attorney Walter Reed to reduce the charge for the teenagers. On the day of the plea, Reed amended the Bills of Information to reflect a reduction of the charge to a misdemeanor, as opposed to the felony that they were originally charged with. Judge Jeff Garcia then asked Bro. Ray, as the victim of the crime, whether he agreed with the amendment of the charges and the sentence that the defendants were receiving, and Bro. Ray stated on the record that he was in agreement.
“I did not want these two young men to have a felony with them for the rest of their lives,” noted Bro. Ray in his weekly St. Paul’s newsletter.
According to Nola.com, if the two young men can complete their sentence, they are eligible to apply to have their conviction expunged following probation.
The two teenagers struck about 40 different spots on campus. It cost the school an estimated $2,000 to clean up the spray and latex paint.
“I was really upset about what happened to the campus, but I was very happy to find out how well the campus was cleaned up. At that moment, I was proud to be a St. Paul’s student,” said sophomore Adam Satterlee.
Bro. Ray also noted in his newsletter that he was very grateful for the support of all of the volunteers who helped clean up the campus at St. Paul’s.