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Teens put on probation after admitting to housebreaking charge

Two teens arrested for stealing non-alcoholic beverages during a break-in blamed their crime on the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Pratt, 19, and a 14-year-old, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, broke into Dawyne Russell’s home on April 8, and stole a case of Gatorade and Arizona drinks.

The teens admitted charges of house breaking and stealing at their arraignment before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes.

The juvenile told the court that the crime was his idea. The magistrate asked Pratt why he committed the crime.

Pratt said, “At the time, there wasn’t nothing at home. This coronavirus stopped me from working.”

The magistrate asked, “So your solution to the problem was to go in somebody’s house and take it?”

Pratt said that he was unable to find work because of the pandemic.

Forbes asked, “So, what would have happened if the person met you in his house?”

Pratt replied, “He could have killed me?”

Forbes said, “And we wouldn’t be here having this conversation.”

Due to their ages, Forbes made a finding of guilt but didn’t record a conviction.

Instead, he placed them on probation for 12 months. During this period, the pair are banned from association and are placed on a court-ordered curfew that requires them to be at home by 8 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.

They are scheduled to appear before Juvenile Court Magistrate Kara Turnquest-Deveaux on September 15.

 

 

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