EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

January 31, 2013

Andover teens change plea in Orange Leaf shooting case

Two Andover teens accused of firing an Airsoft pellet gun at crowds outside of downtown eateries last summer admitted to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty, and they must now stay out of trouble for a year.

Louis Correra of 8 Fairfax Drive and Benjamin Warren of 24 Chester St., both now 18, were arrested last summer and each charged on five counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

They both plead not guilty to the charges at their arraignment on Aug. 3. At a hearing on Nov. 14, both changed their plea to an admission to facts sufficient for a finding of guilty, according to court documents.

As a result of their charges, the two students were also suspended from Andover High School for the first semester of the ongoing academic year, according to a letter defending Correra and Warren in their court files. The suspensions were appealed, but the appeals were denied, according to information in the files. The first semester ends next week, on Monday, Feb. 4.

School Superintendent Marinel McGrath declined to comment on the cases and the school district’s response, citing student confidentiality laws. Calls to both Correra and Warren’s homes were unreturned.

As part of their plea changes, Correra and Warren had to continue counseling originally ordered after the incident. They also agreed to complete 50 hours of community service, write a paper about their experience and fashion letters of apology to one of the victims, according to Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Electronic bracelet monitoring originally required after their arraignment was dropped as part of the deal, Kimball-Monahan said.

Court records show that Warren hasn’t followed his probation terms to the letter, however. After he didn’t report to his probation officer at the end of November and he didn’t write a letter of apology by that time, subsequent probation violation hearings were held on Dec. 27 and Jan. 10.

With the cases being continued without a finding, should the students get into any more trouble for a year following their plea change, “the case can be brought forward again,” Kimball-Monahan said.

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