Thursday, May 10, 2007

10-year-old guilty in Volusia homeless attack

Rebecca Mahoney
Sentinel Staff Writer
May 10, 2007, 12:56 PM EDT

A 10-year-old Daytona Beach boy was found guilty of felony aggravated battery today for beating and stoning a homeless veteran.

Prosecutors said Jordan and his friends, 10-year-old Drew and 17-year-old Jeremy Woods, threw rocks at transient John D'Amico, pushed him through a brick wall and smashed a cinderblock into the man's face.

D'Amico suffered a broken nose and eye socket and said he may never regain sight in his left eye.

During a hearing to deliver Jordan's verdict this morning, Circuit Court Judge John W. Watson said he was troubled that the boy continued to hurl stones at the man even after he'd been pushed to the ground."At a time when the victim was in, for the most part, a most defenseless position, this youth threw not only rocks but also bricks at this victim," said Watson.

Last month, Drew pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge in the incident as as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

But the judge said Drew was just as guilty as Jordan."We have two youths who were acting in concert," he said.

Jordan lowered his head when the verdict was read. His mother, Shana, stormed out of the courtroom, muttering, "This is so unfair," as she passed a group of reporters. She declined to comment further outside the courtroom.

Jordan will be sentenced on May 24. He may be sentenced as a habitual offender and kept under the court's supervision until he is 21. He may also be receive probation and counseling, said Assistant State Attorney Dustin.

"Hopefully he'll be learning right from wrong, so instead of smashing a victim in the face with a concrete block, he'll stop and think," said Havens.

Jordan had argued that D'Amico started the incident by yelling at the two boys and throwing rocks. He also alleged that D'Amico hit him and threw a garbage can lid at him.Watson said there was not enough evidence to suggest D'Amico attacked first or that the boys were acting in self-defense.

D'Amico said he felt vindicated by the verdict, and said he thinks Jordan should be kept under the court's supervision "until the kid can prove he'll never do this to anybody else again," he said.

"If he does this again, he could kill somebody," D'Amico said.

Jordan and Drew are believed to be the youngest children ever charged with beating a homeless man.

The Orlando Sentinel is not publishing the last names of the younger boys because of their ages.

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