BRENTWOOD — Two Derry teenagers pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of burglary for breaking into a classmate’s home and stealing bicycles and tires worth thousands of dollars. One of them will be spending three months in jail.
Prosecutors said the theft occurred after one of the teens was ordered to leave school early for getting into an altercation with the eventual victim of the robbery during the school day at Pinkerton Academy.
Joshua Powell, 17, was driven to the victim’s home by Timothy Butterworth, 19, on the afternoon of Oct. 2, 2009. They entered the home through a ground-level window, loaded two bikes and four tires into the bed of Butterworth’s truck, and drove off, police said. The bikes were valued at $2,000; the tires and rims were worth $4,000, prosecutors said.
Powell was told to leave school before a pep rally at the end of the day after he shoved and hit another student because he would not give him back an Insane Clown Posse hat, county prosecutor Brad Bolton said.
Butterworth drove Powell to the classmate’s home, and they stole the bikes, Bolton said. A charge of simple assault is pending for the altercation at school, Bolton said.
Powell and Butterworth are two of eight teens who were indicted in January on various burglary charges in Derry. They originally both pleaded not guilty, but changed their pleas yesterday.
In separate pleadings, Bolton asked for a 12-month sentence with six months suspended for Powell, and a 12-month sentence with nine months suspended for Butterworth.
“There’s no disputing the fact that there was a burglary here and it was planned,” he said. “It wasn’t just spur of the moment.”
Prior to sentencing, Powell turned to the victim and his parents, and apologized for his role in the theft.
Powell spent three days in jail after he was arrested and Judge Kenneth McHugh said he believed that — along with a suspended sentence and probation — was enough to teach him a lesson. Because Butterworth was older and he had taken the bikes from the scene in the bed of his truck, McHugh said he felt a stiffer sentence was necessary.
McHugh sentenced Butterworth to 12 months in county jail, with all but three months suspended. Powell received a 12-month suspended sentence and two years probation.
“You have got to be confined so you understand what the process is like and how it feels to be a prisoner,” McHugh told Butterworth.