By Tony Parra
Ninth Judicial District Attorney judge Ted Hartley sentenced a 14-year-old to a two-year commitment to the Children Youth and Families Department for his involvement in vandalism to buildings, including the Portales Junior High, Valencia and Steiner Elementaries in mid-May.
The 14-year-old admitted to his involvement in burglary, larceny and vandalism, according to the press release from Ninth Judicial District Attorney Brett Carter’s office.
James Holloway, Portales Schools Superintendent, was present during the sentencing and spoke on behalf of the Portales schools.
“I felt I had two major responsibilities to convey to the court,” Holloway said. “I oversee the education of our public schools to ensure the students are educated and I have a responsibility to the citizens of Portales to oversee the property.”
Hartley sentenced the child to the custody of CYFD for two years and ordered that the 14-year-old make restitution, which is estimated at more than $50,000, according to the press release. The case is still pending on a second teen involved in the vandalism.
“These are serious things (vandalism),” Holloway said. “A lot of property was damaged. These crimes were senseless. My job is to see justice done and make sure the guilty are punished. The police did an outstanding job and my responsibility was to help police catch the people responsible.”
There were 24 windows in the PJHS damaged during the vandalism spree in the courtyard area. Holloway said custodians had to come in to work overtime to clean up the broken glass and damage before the elementary children entered the building at Valencia and Steiner elementaries.
The Quality Sales and Poynor’s bicycle shop businesses were also hit during the incident.