Friday, September 22, 2006

Kingston High School assailant pleads guilty and heads to jail

Paul Kibry:

The teenager whose attack on a fellow Kingston High School student led to a white supremacy rally in Midtown has pleaded guilty to assault and will spend at least 45 days in jail.

Joseph Williams, 17, admitted in Ulster County Court on Tuesday that he punched Robbie Hedrick in the face last Oct. 7 near the Broadway high school. Wiping tears from his eyes, Williams told Judge J. Michael Bruhn he made a mistake and was sorry.

Williams pleaded guilty to felony assault for the attack on Hedrick - which left the victim with an eye injury and broken facial bones - and misdemeanor assault for striking KHS student Thomas Doyle during the same incident. Doyle suffered cuts and bruises.

Bruhn ordered Williams held, without bail, in the Ulster County Jail for the next 45 days and said he probably will sentence the defendant to five years of probation after that. The judge also said he expects to order Williams to pay restitution to the Hedrick and Doyle families.

"Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned," Bruhn said to Williams.

The judge also told Williams that if he violates the rules of probation, he could wind up with "a very, very lengthy" state prison term. The maximum sentence for felony assault is seven years behind bars.

D.A. wants KHS assault suspect jailed on weekends if convicted


Student's serious injury from fight puts spotlight on school safety


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