Last HHS vandal sentenced, takes year to end ordealThe last of a group of Hudson High School graduates who vandalized five area high schools as a “senior prank” last June was sentenced in St. Croix County Circuit Court last week.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
The last of a group of Hudson High School graduates who vandalized five area high schools as a “senior prank” last June was sentenced in St. Croix County Circuit Court last week.
Colin S. Courtney, 19, 237 Cedar Dr. W., was convicted of misdemeanor criminal damage to property at Hudson and New Richmond high schools. Judge Scott Needham sentenced Courtney to probation for one year, 70 hours of community service and fined him $98. Like the other 13 defendants involved, he was also ordered to make a public apology for his actions in the newspapers in Hudson, River Falls and New Richmond, and to apologize in person before the school boards in each of the communities. Each of the defendants has already paid approximately $3,000 in restitution to the Hudson and New Richmond school districts.
River Falls was included in the apology orders since the defendants tried to make it look like the damage was done by River Falls High School students.
Some of the defendants along with six other HHS 2007 graduates were also involved in less serious damage at Menomonie High School and North and Memorial high schools in Eau Claire the same night. They received citations for disorderly conduct for those damages.
All 14 co-defendants are required to check in with their probation officers once a month. Once sentenced, those living away from the Hudson area were required to register with probation officers where they lived or attended school. If they return to Hudson for the summer, they will be checking in with the local state probation office headed by Mike O’Keefe.
O’Keefe said it is the probation officer’s job to follow up on all of Judge Needham’s orders and see to it that they are completed satisfactorily. The probation office doesn’t assign specific community service work. It is up to the defendants to find legitimate service work situations. He expects that most, if not all, of the ordered hours will be completed this summer.
O’Keefe said his office is also responsible for seeing to it that all the other conditions ordered by the judge are met including the appearances before the school boards and the letters of apology. O’Keefe said the letters must be reviewed by each defendant’s probation officer before they are sent to ensure they are sincere and appropriate.
Defendants are also required to report any police contact they have over their year on probation. O’Keefe said all defendants must refrain from drinking, not only because of their probation but because most are underage.
Any serious or repetitive criminal behavior is reviewed by the probation office which would issue a warning to a defendant if his probation was in danger of being revoked.
Upon successful completion of the probation period, each defendant can apply to the court to have the conviction removed from their record.