Ann Arbor teen admits responsibility in 11 graffiti-related counts
Ryan Stanton | AnnArbor.com
A 16-year-old Pioneer High School student admitted in court Monday that he was responsible for spray-painting his moniker "Mole" at 11 sites throughout Ann Arbor.
The boy appeared with both parents in Washtenaw County juvenile court where he entered into a plea agreement and a referee ordered the teen's tether be removed after he received a positive report from the probation department.
Referee Gail Altenburg granted the boy's request for a deferred disposition, which means if he complies with all the terms of his probation, his record would be wiped clean. In exchange, the boy admitted responsibility to the 11 counts, the equivalent of guilty pleas.
"What did you do?" Altenburg asked the boy after naming the location on each count.
"Spray painted," the boy replied.
"What did you spray paint?"
"Mole," the boy said.
The boy's disposition date -- the equivalent to sentencing -- was scheduled for June 18. How much money the 16-year-old and the 15-year-old Community High School student alleged to be the SAES tagger will have to pay in restitution should be known by then. It was unknown at Monday's hearing just how much total the boys will have to pay in restitution. Prosecutors did say "Mole" will at least be responsible for $253 separate from the total.
Altenburg told the boy community service and programs could be part of the punishment. The boy also could be put on probation.
The boy was also relieved of his GPS tether at the hearing after a request was made by Shelia Blakney, his public defender. Representatives from the probation department gave the boy a glowing report, saying he hasn't missed any school and has fully complied with all the requirements.
"I'm not surprised in the least," said Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Jonathan Emmons, who said he was aware the boy was doing well and did not argue against the request.
"I hesitate because on a tether, I know where you are," Altenburg said.
She granted the motion, however, citing the plea agreement.
"Now there's a great incentive for you to comply," she said, otherwise the agreement is "utterly jeopardized."
The boy will remain on house arrest and nighttime surveillance while awaiting his disposition. His parents, who told the court their son is still grounded, are responsible for reporting any violations to authorities.
The 15-year-old Community High School student thought to be behind the SAES moniker is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. He remains in the Washtenaw County Youth Home for violating his tether requirements.
Police said the boys are friends. Mole and SAES graffiti tags can be seen on dozens of buildings, overpasses, light poles and other locations around Ann Arbor.