Wednesday, July 05, 2000

3 boys under house arrest

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — Three boys accused of vandalizing Babeck Elementary School June 24 were released from the Butler County Juvenile Detention Center on Monday, but they will spend the next month under house arrest.

        Juvenile Court Magistrate John Bruewer on Monday continued the cases of the Trenton boys — two 11-year-olds and one 12-year-old — until one of the boys could get a lawyer. They will enter pleas at a hearing set for July 31.

        Until then, the boys must remain under the supervision of their parents. Mr. Bruewer allowed one of the boys to stay with his grandmother in Preble County in order to be constantly supervised, and another to spend a few hours every day with his uncle while his parents are at work.

        Lawyers for two of the boys said the families had homeowners insurance that might cover some of the damage, which was estimated at $45,000. Parents of the third boy said they, too, had coverage.

        Each of the boys is charged with one count of breaking and entering and one count of vandalism, both felonies.

        The school, which is undergoing an expansion and remodeling project, had damage in every room, said Jim Patrick, Edgewood Schools' project manager.

        When police arrived at the school, one of the boys was still there. They apparently had gotten in through an air conditioning duct. Schools officials found about a dozen new windows smashed, fire extinguishers discharged, spray-painted graffiti and damaged televisions and computers.

        Mr. Patrick said the cost might go higher once school officials determine damage caused to computers by the fire extinguishers.


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