Teen Pleads Guilty in Vandalism Spree
Posted March 20, 2008 1:09 p.m. EDT
Updated March 20, 2008 6:26 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — A Broughton High School junior was placed on probation Thursday after pleading guilty to a New Year's Day vandalism spree.
Logan Sloan Aronson, 17, of 6112 Chowning Court, pleaded guilty to five counts of damage to personal property and two counts of damage to real property.
Aronson, Clifford Wellons Anderson, 17, of 2114 Myrtle Ave., and Hillary Ann Varner, 17, no address available, were charged with damaging and spray-painting vehicles and breaking windows and smashing in mailboxes with a baseball bat in the Carolina Country Club and Brookhaven areas of Raleigh on Jan. 1.
In one case, another Broughton High student and her boyfriend were injured when the back window of her car was smashed.
"I lost control of myself that night," Aronson told District Court Judge Jennifer Knox.
Knox asked Aronson if he was stupid, and defense lawyer Bill Finn said the teen isn't.
"Logan doesn't want to be the type of person he was that night," Finn said.
Under a plea agreement in which about three dozen other charges were dropped against him, Aronson was given 45-day suspended sentences and was placed on supervised probation for 18 months. He also was ordered to pay at least $31,300 in damages – the total amount of damage in the case is expected to top $80,000 – and a $100 fine.
The plea deal also calls for him to perform 100 hours of community service, undergo substance abuse counseling and abide by a curfew of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekends, unless he is working or with his parents.
When Aronson admitted he had been drinking and driving that night, Knox personally cut up his driver's license and ordered him not to drive for a year.
Finn said Aronson had written personal notes of apology to each victim in the case and would mail them in the coming days. The teen also apologized to three victims who attended the court hearing.
"I'm so sorry for what happened that night, and I hope someday you can forgive me. I really am sorry," he said.
The victims said they didn't think the apology was sincere.
"The apology, I think, was just (lacking). I didn't feel like it was heartfelt," Joette Woodall said. "The fear, at 3 a.m. in the morning, to be awakened by something like that was very, very scary."
"I don't think there's a concept for him and his parents over the fear that's instilled in the community. That's something that can't be settled with any court case," Tim Edwards said.
Finn said Aronson is trying to get his life back on track with the help of his parents.
"There's sort of a level and a limit to what the judge did to him, and I can tell you that doesn't even come close to what his parents are doing as well," he said.
Anderson has been charged with 36 counts of injury to personal property, five counts of injury to real property and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the case. Varner has been charged with 36 counts of injury to personal property, six counts of injury to real property and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.
Both are due in court next month.