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State v. Mr. S (DMC No. 15064)

Mr. S was a high school student who got involved with two older high school students who sold drugs and had violent dispositions. Mr. S. had received a call from one of the Co-Defendants stating that he had been ripped off by two other kids in a drug deal and wanted Mr. S to go with them in order to “have their back.” At some point prior, Mr. S. provided them with some bullets for a gun he thought they would be shooting in the desert (completely unrelated to the drug robbery). Mr. S. was instructed to convince the two victims to go into the desert to “smoke some weed.”

When all 3 arrived at a predetermined location, the two Co-Defendants jumped out of the bushes and held the two victims at gunpoint and knifepoint. One of the victims was instructed to “suck his dick,” referring to the other victim. Both of them were males. The victims were pleading with the Co-Defendants not to shoot them and not make them participate in that activity, which they were still forced to do.

Mr. S. only stood-by as a lookout, and was not aware that any of that activity was going to be taking place. The two Co-Defendants had a gun and knife, and Mr. S. did not have any weapon on him. The victims were told to urinate on all of their clothing and throw it around the general area. The Defendants then left, and the victims contacted the police. Mr. S. was the only Defendant to cooperate with the authorities. He showed him where the gun was stored and the location of where other items were deposited. This was done with our help. Ultimately, we secured an offer that included no agreements as to sentencing.

One of the Co-Defendants was sentenced to 9 years in prison, and the other was sentenced to 5 years in prison. We presented extensive mitigation to the Court, and we were also able to secure a request for leniency from one of the victims’ mothers. Although the Judge was initially inclined to sentence Mr. S. to prison, or at least 1 year in jail, we were able to convince the Judge to defer all jail time. Mr. S. successfully completed probation, did not do any time in jail, and is currently enrolled in college. Originally, he was facing a potential of life in prison.

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