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Juvenile Ordered To Write Essay, Leave County In Slaying Case

July 2, 1985

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ A teen-ager found delinquent in the death of a playmate who was shot in the head with a pellet gun must leave the county for two years and write a 1,000- word essay on firearm dangers, a judge says.

″It must have a bibliography with four sources. There will be no misspelled words, and you will use correct grammar,″ Gwinnett Juvenile Court Judge Handsel Morgan told the 16-year-old youth on Monday.

The youth, who had been charged as an adult with murder and seven counts of aggravated assault in the June 13 shooting of Dana Leann Hay and seven other children, got on a plane after the hearing and flew to California, where Morgan ordered him to remain under his mother’s supervision until 1987.

After several children testified Friday that the shooting was an accident, the prosecutor moved that the youth be tried as a juvenile and that the charge be reduced to involuntary manslaughter.

Dana died June 15 of brain damage after she was shot with a pellet at close range, authorities said.

Debra and Buster Hay, parents of victim Dana LeAnn Hay, left the court building after the hearing without comment.

″They are very upset,″ said their attorney, Richard Johnson.

Earlier Monday, the Hays filed an $11.5 million lawsuit against the youth, his father and several other individuals in the death of their daughter.

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