3 More South Hadley Teens Plead Guilty In Bullying Case
HADLEY, Mass. — Three more Massachusetts teens on Thursday admitted to participating in the bullying of a 15-year-old girl who later committed suicide.
Ashley Longe admitted to sufficient facts to a charge of criminal harassment in the bullying of Phoebe Prince, a freshman at South Hadley High School who hanged herself in January 2010.
The charge will be dismissed if Longe successfully completes a year of probation. She also must complete 100 hours of community service. Under a plea deal approved by Prince’s family, prosecutors agreed to drop more serious charges.
Longe admitted that on the day Prince died, she yelled disparaging remarks at Prince and also threw a beverage can at her as she walked home from school that day.
Prince’s mother says Longe expressed “genuine remorse” when the two met Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, Sharon Chanon Velazquez and Flannery Mullins also admitted to sufficient facts to two misdemeanor charges.
“So scared of Sharon Velazquez and Flannery Mullins was Phoebe that she walked between people in the halls of South Hadley High School in case they jumped her,” said Prince’s mother Anne O’Brien, in a victim’s impact statement.
Prosecutors dropped a more serious civil rights charge against Velazquez, 17, who was sentenced to probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. Prince’s family asked her to voluntarily do an additional 50 hours of service.
Prosecutors dropped charges of stalking and criminal harassment for Mullins, who will be on probation until she turns 19 in January 2012 and must perform 100 hours of community service.
A statutory rape charge was also dropped against another teenager who dated the 15-year-old Prince. District Attorney David Sullivan said prosecutors decided to drop the charge against Austin Renaud — who was not accused of bullying — at the request of Prince’s family and “in the interests of justice.”
Two others were sentenced to a year probation Wednesday for their roles in the bullying.
In the courtroom Wednesday, O’Brien condemned one of the defendants, Sean Mulveyhill.
“Had I known the truth, I would have viewed his interest in my daughter as predatory, and she would have been forbidden to see him,” O’Brien said.
With reporting from The Associated Press and WBUR Newsroom