Augusta Prep vandals sentenced

Three boys arrested in the June vandalism of Augusta Preparatory Day School were sentenced today in Columbia County Juvenile Court.

The boys, a Martinez 12-year-old, a Waynesboro 13-year-old and a Hephzibah 14-year-old, were charged with burglary.

During the disposition hearing, Columbia County Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan sentenced the 12-year-old and 14-year-old to 30 days confinement in the Regional Youth Detention Center. Their sentence also included 18 months probation and 40 hours community service.

The 13-year-old received a 10-day sentence at the youth detention center.

“This is not the way to start off your life,” Flanagan told the boys.

Police say that the juveniles likely entered the middle school building of Augusta Prep by using an unlatched door.

Damage to the school on Flowing Wells Road in Martinez was caused after fire extinguishers were dispersed in the building’s hallways and classrooms, including a technology lab classroom and computers.

The vandals also tossed red paint on a flag in a classroom, ransacked and threw eggs inside a teachers’ lounge, and ate candy, chips and other junk food throughout the building.

The three boys admitted guilt, but were apologetic during the hearing.

“I’m very sorry for damaging your school,” the 12-year-old said. “This’ll be the last time I’m in court.”

The boys said they were spending the night at a friend’s house in Martinez the night the incident took place and were told to leave by the friend’s mother at about 10 p.m.

“I have concerns when any adult puts kids out at 10 o’clock at night,” Flanagan said.

They decided to go inside Augusta Prep and later returned to the 12-year-old’s Martinez home at about 5:30 a.m.

The 13-year-old said he observed the vandalism but didn’t cause any damage to the school.

Augusta Prep Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Blair told the court that the vandalism incident resulted in $82,000 in damages and cleanup costs. The school is fully covered by insurance, but had to pay a $2,500 deductible, she said.

“I anticipate a significant impact to our premium, and this was no cause of our own,” she said.

Flanangan ordered each boy to pay $1,500 in restitution to the school.

“I think you gentleman learned a valuable lesson,” Flanagan said. “You caused substantial damage.”

Before Flanagan sentenced the boys, he spoke to their parents about better supervision.

“You let your children down,” he said.

 

Reach Jenna Martin at (706) 868-1222, ext. 109, or

jenna.martin@augustachronicle.com.

 

 

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