Teen Gets Second Chance at Life

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

A Woodboro teen will get a second chance at life.

Fifteen-year-old David Brown is no stranger to consequences. He's been in jail for the better part of a year on charges of he shot his sister in the head and then beat her with a broom. But the consequences that weighed heaviest on the decision not to send him to prison are the consequences of how his parent's actions affected him while he was growing up.

"I'd just like to say that I'm very sorry for some of the actions that had a negative reaction of my child," said Brown's mother Mary Smith, before the sentencing. "I ask that my son be given a second chance, and he deserves one."

"Both parents unintentionally but methodically damaged their children," said Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Robert Kinney.

Damaged, the judge says, because both parents used their children to hurt one another after they divorced. Court documents record a long history of disputes between the parents and their fight to for custody of their children.

Psychologists who worked with Brown before and after the incident say David should be separated from all members of his family and placed in a suitable environment. The judge agreed.

"One of the things that we're not going to do is 'allow David to come home so we can take care of him,' as his grandmother asked," said Judge Kinney.

What is going to happen according to the sentence is that David Brown will spend a total of 10-and-a-half months in jail. This includes time already served. Kinney says that means he should be out around December 20 of this year. After that, Brown will spend the next 10 years on probation. The terms of his probation include his seeking regular individual therapy, finishing his high school education and not having any unsupervised contact with his parents until he is 18.

The Oneida County District Attorney Patrick O'Melia says, if during his 10 years of probation, David Brown commits no other crimes, he will in fact have a second chance as his mother had asked.

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