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2 teens to be tried as adults in Butler High beating

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Two of the five teenagers charged in the brutal beating of a Butler High School student will be tried as adults and, if convicted, could spend time in adult prisons.

Judge Willie Saunders has transferred the cases against Berten Blockett and Brandon Mansson -- ages 16 and 14 at the time of their arrests -- to Superior Court. There, they could face prison sentences seven times longer than those of the other three teens arrested in the March 1 attack on 16-year-old Terence Reese. Saunders declined to move those cases.

Saunders' order, filed Friday in Richmond County Juvenile Court, says there are reasonable grounds to believe all five teens committed the acts against Reese, but the public's interest to try Blockett and Mansson as adults outweighed other concerns.

He cited "the very egregious nature of this offense and the community's interests in combating a rash of teen and gang-related violence."

Mansson and Blockett "readily admit to their involvement in this crime," whereas with the other three, "there are questions as to the relative involvement of these juveniles in this incident," the order says.

"I'm glad that we finally have a decision," said Richmond County Assistant District Attorney Natalie Spires, who along with the families and the five defense attorneys had been waiting since a May 21 hearing. "I'm glad that Terence and his family aren't hanging in the balance anymore. They kind of know a little bit more about what will happen."

The other three teens -- Ross Nipple, 15, Joshua Plowright, 14, and Mark Daniel Musick, 14 -- are charged with designated felonies, so while their cases will remain in juvenile court, they are still open to the public.

Despite this, Saunders instructed juvenile court staff to deny requests to view his signed order Friday. Georgia law grants public access to court files in open juvenile cases.

A message left for the judge by The Augusta Chronicle was returned by a staffer who said he had no comment on the order. A second message, asking specifically about the law allowing file access and his stance to the contrary, wasn't returned.

The order, which the newspaper obtained by other means, said that while the victim testified that he doesn't know Mansson and doesn't believe he was present during the beating, Mansson admitted to kicking him while he was on the ground. He told investigators that Reese had disrespected Blockett, his cousin.

Saunders noted that a forensic psychologist who evaluated Mansson said he met the criteria for a conduct disorder. The same psychologist found Blockett to have "an arrogant and hostile demeanor" with a propensity for using aggression to solve problems, calling for restrictive placement and intensive therapy.

In Superior Court, the two face sentences of one to 20 years for the aggravated battery charge and five to 15 years for the gang charge. If given lengthy prison terms, they would likely start their sentences in juvenile facilities, then be put in the state Department of Corrections system after they reach adulthood.

The other three, if convicted of the same charges in juvenile court, could be committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice for a maximum of five years, with the department deciding at what point they could be released or placed on probation.

Authorities allege that four of the suspects -- Blockett, Plowright, Mansson and Musick -- are members of the Apple Valley Posse gang, based off Mike Padgett Highway. Nipple claimed to be in the Bloods gang.

Investigators said Blockett wore a belt with "AVP" written on it, and downloads from Musick's and Nipple's cell phones found pictures of Nipple flashing gang signs and Musick in gang attire.

The teens are accused of ruthlessly beating Reese on March 1 in an activity called "locking down the block," in which they attack anyone who entered their territory.

Reese had just walked a female friend home from school and was walking along Circular Drive on his way to the Peach Orchard Road Save-A-Lot to be picked up by his mother, Taanja Reese.

On Friday, his mother said she believed each of the suspects should be tried as adults but was happy to see the case moving forward.

Within the next month, she said, her son will have to undergo another surgery in which doctors will have to break his jaw and reset it to correct his bite. Reese's jaw was wired shut for weeks after the initial beating.

"We're a little disappointed, but I guess everything is going to work out," Taanja Reese said.

Juvenile court proceedings will resume for Plowright, Nipple and Musick on June 18.

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Nightwing
0
Points
Nightwing 06/05/10 - 03:33 am
0
0
These wanna-be thugs should

These wanna-be thugs should get the maximum that the law allows.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 06/05/10 - 06:21 am
0
0
Blockett and Mansson are more

Blockett and Mansson are more responsible for their actions than the other children taking part in this beating? There has to be something else. 5 little boys, 14 - 16, beat the tar out of another little boy, they all take part and two are more guilty than the other three? These children, who don't even know that disrespect is a passive verb, not an action verb, should be sent to the most strict military school available until they are able to demonstrate a level of knowledge equal to a high school graduate and speak with a little better command of the English language. This will arm them with the tools necessary to grow into adults and keep them away from polite society for several years. Deeming them adults and sentencing them to more of the life they're already leading won't improve the situation a bit.

Augusta resident
1370
Points
Augusta resident 06/05/10 - 06:29 am
0
0
Residents of Apple Valley

Residents of Apple Valley can't take back their streets. It's always been just like it is today or at least for the past 30 years.

Patty-P
3521
Points
Patty-P 06/05/10 - 07:48 am
0
0
Eventually the issues going

Eventually the issues going on with the juvenile justice system will catch up with them. Seems the judge has something to hide if he doesn't want anyone to see his signed order. I've seen this happen with other juvenile cases. Violent teens having cases dismissed or other court decisions being made and the victims cannot even see why that decision is made. And they will continue to blame it on a mental disorder as long as they have the right psychologist to perform the evaluation for them. I suppose the best defense if nothing else works is to claim a psychological disorder made them do it. We can't wonder why the streets of Augusta are in the shape they are in. Augusta breeds criminals.

MS B
7
Points
MS B 06/05/10 - 09:12 am
0
0
I totally agree with

I totally agree with johnson.cliff. what a grand idea. good for you johnson.cliff

mable8
4
Points
mable8 06/05/10 - 09:42 am
0
0
These young lads are far from

These young lads are far from being "little boys;" they are teenagers, to be sure, but that is no excuse for their aggressive acts towards other individuals whether or not that individual happens to be in "their" neighborhood. A military academy would not accept them and I don't think these youngsters would become "men" simply because they attended such an academy. I would agree that they do not know the meaning of respect or disrespect; nor do they understand how one acquires respect (which has to be earned), let alone self-respect. The parents are supposed to teach their children about social graces and how to get along with others--obviously, this wasn't done in this case.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 06/05/10 - 09:43 am
0
0
These boys are products of

These boys are products of the liberal’s entitlement programs. Hussein wants more like them.
"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."

........Abraham Lincoln

maninthepi
0
Points
maninthepi 06/05/10 - 10:08 am
0
0
I say place the parents of

I say place the parents of kids that do stuff like this on house arrest
and wear an electronic bracelet for 30 days first offence. go to work
and home only. each of them can go to buy groceries once a week.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/05/10 - 12:25 pm
0
0
Amen chascush!!

Amen chascush!!

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/05/10 - 12:26 pm
0
0
Why do some articles about

Why do some articles about important crimes only last a couple hours on the front page of the site, then can't be found again without major digging, but then ones like this that were up all day, get reposted and put up as a new article when it is exactly the same?

freeradical
1399
Points
freeradical 06/05/10 - 12:28 pm
0
0
Estimating the"reasonable

Estimating the"reasonable involvement" of the entire pack of these

animals, much like assessing the "reasonable involvement" of a pack

wolves,is not brain surgery.

And requires neither a degree in wildlife management or law.

Estimating that the "public's interest" somehow does not square

to treating all these animals with equal severity is a feat of, arrogance/

legal mumbojumbo, that only a feeble thinking, soft headed , mind of

someone induced by outside influences could produce.

The decision is not nearly as slick as the judge thinks it to be.

The judge need not take to much time getting to know these animals,

he will be seeing them again, and soon.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 06/05/10 - 01:09 pm
0
0
One good example of their

One good example of their article placement. They are looking for a guy who killed someone in a hit and run Friday. It was posted a 6am. It wasn't on the front page by noon when I got here. How do you expect the public help find someone if the article can't be found? I think a killer is worth more time on the front page of the site than the same article over and over about the teens. Who is in charge of this, it isn't the first time it happens. They changed the date on this article and re posted it on the front page word for word. But only 3 hours or so did the article of the driver who hit and ran stay up there to be easily seen. Ridiculous. It does seem like they are more interested in getting little fights going from the posters than reporting news that could help catch criminals or help citizens to be aware of crime to be safe. They obviosly arent concerned with citizens helping to catch a killer and bring him to justice. Ridiculous!!

corgimom
51513
Points
corgimom 06/05/10 - 01:59 pm
0
0
"The same psychologist found

"The same psychologist found Blockett to have "an arrogant and hostile demeanor" with a propensity for using aggression to solve problems,"

You think? And now it's called "conduct disorder"? I call it vicious, violent, antisocial criminal behavior. Who knew that now there's a "disorder" label?

Patty-P
3521
Points
Patty-P 06/05/10 - 02:45 pm
0
0
All violent criminals have a

All violent criminals have a conduct disorder.

Grimzine
6
Points
Grimzine 06/08/10 - 10:23 pm
0
0
I was hoping all of them

I was hoping all of them would be charged as adults. This poor kid is going to be scarred for life both physically and mentally while these guys get "street cred" well the ones going to prison will learn what fear is and they will respond when they hear "hold my pocket" hopefully prison will break their streak but as it has been proven before most times prison promotes this aggression.

angeleyes
0
Points
angeleyes 06/19/10 - 06:47 am
0
0
why wouldnt they be charged

why wouldnt they be charged as adults. they knew right from wrong when they did this to that guy. i hope they rot in jail

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