Local News

Father of Young Voter Pleads Guilty

Posted January 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— The father of a Durham teenager who illegally voted in November's election struck a deal in court Wednesday. Jerome Winegarden pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a misdemeanor.

As part of the plea arrangement, felony charges of voter fraud were dropped. Winegarden must perform 50 hours of community service as part of his sentence.

Charges against his 14-year-old son Benjamin will be dismissed if the teen completes community service and stays out of trouble. He was charged with illegal voting and providing false information on his voter registration card, both felonies.

The father was originally charged with being an accessory after the fact of voter fraud and the misdemeanor charge.

The boy said he and his father went to a precinct and that he cast a ballot, voting straight Republican. The indictment said that Jerome Winegarden helped his son try to avoid detection and arrest.