Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tougher probation recommended for teens accused in Gulfport school bus beating

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters has personally revised her agency's recommendations about sanctions for the teenagers accused of beating a 13-year-old on a school bus in Gulfport. She is now advocating a tougher form of probation.

The department previously had recommended giving two of the three 15-year-olds nine months of a program known as court-supervised probation. Prosecutors had recommended they get at least a stricter form of probation known as DJJ-supervised probation.

"Upon further consideration, we have determined that the highly violent nature of this crime warrants highly structured probation under DJJ supervision, as the state attorney's office recommended," Walters said in a statement released Thursday morning.

Walters also said in her statement: "I want to make it clear that DJJ will do everything in its power to ensure youth are held accountable for their actions. Moreover, these youth will receive an array of services to hopefully keep them from ever reoffending."

DJJ spokeswoman Meghan Speakes Collins said that youths who are given the court-supervised probation are generally in a diversion program. That means that if they complete all requirements of the program, they are not given a conviction in the juvenile system.

On the other hand, youths sentenced to DJJ-supervised probation do get convicted in the juvenile system, and they wind up with a juvenile record, Collins said. During their probation they can be ordered into several programs to address such problems as substance abuse, mental illness, anger issues or others.

Walters said in the statement that a local probation official had asked her to study the initial recommendation, which became public after a court hearing Tuesday.

Officials have said the incident apparently began when two of the youths asked the 13-year-old if he would buy marijuana from them. He refused, and told school officials.

Afterward, the two boys — plus one other — began beating the younger youth in apparent retaliation.

The brutal beating was captured on a surveillance video camera on the school bus and became national news as it was broadcast repeatedly.

Video of three 15-year-old boys attacking a 13-year-old on a school bus in Gulfport has gained national attention.

Gulfport Police Department

Video of three 15-year-old boys attacking a 13-year-old on a school bus in Gulfport has gained national attention.

Tougher probation recommended for teens accused in Gulfport school bus beating 08/15/13 [Last modified: Thursday, August 15, 2013 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  2. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  3. ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy named sole Tampa Bay winner in EY state entrepreneur contest

    Business

    ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007. Five of the nine winners were from the Miami …

    Tampa's ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007.
  4. Top pick Brendan McKay signing with Rays for $7M bonus

    Blogs

    The Rays are set to sign top pick 1B/LHP Brendan McKay for a bonus just over $7-million, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

    McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.

    The deal is expected to be finalized …

  5. Man found dead in Dunedin canal identified as missing 63-year-old

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday identified the man found floating in a Dunedin canal as the man who was reported missing last week.

    Charles P. Morris, 63, was found dead in a canal in Dunedin behind Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park, at 605 Michigan Blvd. around 3:48 p.m. Monday. He was reported missing June 21 after he was last seen leaving his home the night before to walk his dog. [ Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]