Two Charged In Beating Death Of Vagrant Sentenced To Work With Homeless
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Two teen-agers arrested in the beating death of a vagrant have drawn probationary sentences which call for them to work with the homeless.
County Court Judge John Phillips said he reluctantly approved the plea bargain arrangement Wednesday because prosecutors called it the only way to get the two teens to testify against a companion charged with murder.
Paul Goolsby and Craig Mobley, both 17, were placed on one year’s probation and ordered to do 50 hours of community service for the poor and homeless during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
″I don’t care if you have ski trips planned or whatever, I want all 50 hours during those two holidays,″ Phillips told the youths. ″Hopefully, you’ll learn something about these people you sure didn’t know.″
Goolsby and Mobley pleaded guilty to battery charges Wednesday for rousting two vagrants on an Interstate 95 underpass on May 23.
One of the two, Michael Cadreau, was clubbed to death that night. The killing sparked community outrage. Some residents placed wreaths of flowers at the underpass.
Attorneys for the two youths stressed that their clients had no hand in the killing.
″These two boys woke up the two men that were asleep, and that’s where it stopped,″ said Richard Lubin, Mobley’s lawyer.
James Alway, 16, is charged with second-degree murder in the Cadreau case. He is accused of hitting the groggy vagrant in the face with a shovel handle.
Charges against a fourth youth were dropped. Police arrested the four, who allegedly bragged to friends about what they called a ″bumming″ excursion, after receiving several telephone tips.
″They didn’t like vagrants,″ said police Capt. James Diggs. ″That’s what it amounted to. No personal gain. They just wanted to beat up on an individual.″
As part of the plea arrangement, Goolsby and Mobley agreed to testify at Alway’s trial, scheduled for Jan. 12.
Phillips wondered why a stint in jail wasn’t part of the plea deal. He told the young men that the charge carries a maximum jail sentence of one year.
″You’re asking the court to go an awful long way to accept this plea,″ Phillips said. ″These penalties are about as light as you could humanly expect.″
Prosecutor Fred Susaneck said that he wasn’t happy with the arrangement but said no deal on testimony was likely if jail was part of the sentence.
Both young men have expressed remorse about the incident.
″I’m not happy about what happened. I feel sorry we had anything to do with it,″ Goolsby said.