Object Lessons From a Stupid Act
Rocky Mountain News reporter Betsy Lehndorff has a story on the arrest of 17 year old Caleb Pegues. He threw a plastic soda bottle filled with household products that "created a blast and burst of vapor" at his school.
Police arrested him.
The headline of the story reads: "Was explosive a kid's prank or a felony?"
The question implies that it was one or the other. It need not be. It can be both. On a Venn diagram, the set "kid's prank" and the set "felony" intersect.
Pegues might have sincerely thought he was just pulling a prank. That does not excuse him from being convicted of a felony.
Good luck, kid.
Attorneys should sometimes just shut up. Pegues' attorney, Robert Wareham, was quoted in the story, "the problem is that teenage boys will be teenage boys."
Another problem is that sometimes teenage boys get convicted of felonies.
Another problem is that attorneys should not say silly things to newspaper reporters that might create ill-will toward their client.
Criminal defendants should always just shut up.
Pegues told authorities he was trying to break up a gathering of classmates who were celebrating April 20, National Pot Smokers Day. Marijuana irked him. "I just think it's stupid. I guess that is how I was raised," he said in an interview.
This, of course, begs the question "Was he raised to lob homemade bombs at people he didn't like?"
If you are ever arrested, or if the police just "want to ask you a few questions," get an attorney immediately. Do not volunteer any information. You will probably say something stupid like Pegues' did.
The only person that needs a criminal defense attorney more than a gulity person is an innocent person.