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Berlin minor copping deal in spray paint vandalism case

(May 8, 2015) Two suspects, instead of one, will be tried as adults in the Berlin spray paint vandalism spree that caused thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles and buildings in January.

Nick Bonser, 18, of Berlin, will join Jordan Denton, 18, of Ocean City in having his case heard in District Court, following a court determination Monday that he could be tried as an adult rather than as a minor.

The incident occurred on Jan. 25 and Bonser was days away from his 18th birthday. Denton, however, was 18 at the time and both will face the same changes, a spokesperson for the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s office said.

A third party in the case is 16 and that case will be handled in the juvenile justice system.

The minor, according to the State’s Attorney’s office, has entered into a plea bargain and submitted a plea of “involved” to all 40 charges. The State’s Attorney’s may only discuss outcomes when dealing with juvenile cases, so sentencing recommendations and details are unavailable.

Juveniles may plea “involved” or “not involved” to charges, rather than the more traditional choices.

Denton and Bonser also face 40 charges: 39 charges of malicious destruction of property and one count of theft less than $100, which was apparently the spray paint itself.

Court documents reveal that during police interviews one of those involved admitted to obtaining the spray paint from a nearby Wal-Mart and “riding around … painting vehicles and buildings.”

Representatives of the State’s Attorney’s office recently held a town hall meeting with the victims to discuss the case. An attendee of the meeting said prosecutors were concerned with personal stories of damages incurred such as loss of work and costs of repairs.

According to a Berlin Police Department press release issued following the event, total damages were estimated at $11,276. Police reported 36 victims, including the Town of Berlin, which had one vehicle, 10 electric meters and four trashcans damaged.

Three buildings and 33 additional cars were spray painted during the incident that spanned a dozen streets: Ann Court, Ann Drive, Branch Street, Buttercup Court, Harrison Ave, Henry’s Mill, Littleworth Court, North Main Street, Pitts Street, Powell Circle, West Street and William Street.

Court dates for Denton and Bonser are expected in June.

 

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