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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Teen To Be Charged As An Adult: For School Break In

Teen to be tried as adult for break-in at Morgan County High School
Submitted by editor on Mon, 03/21/2011 - 16:59. More News & Features
By Patrick Yost

Mentavious Jackson, 16, Madison, will be tried as an adult following his arrest for the January 10, 2011 break-in at the Morgan County High School.
A Morgan County Grand Jury has indicted Jackson for two counts of burglary, one count interference of government property and one count participating in criminal gang activity. Jackson was arrested on January 20 after Sgt. Mike Ghioto, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, consulted with a Madison police officer who had responded to a domestic argument incident involving Jackson. During that incident the officer noted that Jackson was in possession of a large bag of Gatorade, M&M candies and Skittles, all items that were allegedly taken from the high school during the break–in.
Ghioto said following the arrest Jackson confessed to participating in the burglary.
School video captured five males entering the high school in the middle of a snow and ice storm. The men vandalized several offices and class rooms in the school and spray painted a six pointed star and “MOE” on walls at the school. Capt. Chris Bish, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said “MOE” is an acronym for a popular rap song entitled “Money Over Everything.”
Authorities are contending that the star and “MOE” constitute gang–related activity.
On February 23 an order to transfer Jackson’s case to Superior Court, effectively considering him an adult, was signed.
By charging Jackson with participating in criminal gang activity authorities will seek severe penalties. According to Alison Burleson, assistant district attorney, Ocmulgee Judicial District, if convicted of the charge Jackson could face, in addition to any other sentencing, imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 15 years or a fine of not less than $10,000 nor more than $15,000 or both.
Burleson said Jackson will be tried as an adult, in part, because of the extent of damage at the school which costs thousands of dollars to repair and because of the “obvious nexus to gang activity.”
“It is our desire to send a clear message that this kind of activity will not be tolerated in Morgan County,” Burleson said.

Printed in the March 17, 2011 edition

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