By Devin Bartolotta

GLENELG, Md. (WJZ) — Two of the four teens charged with hate crimes at Glenelg High School in May pleaded guilty during a court hearing Thursday morning.

According to the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, 19-year-olds Joshua Shaffer and Seth Taylor appeared before Judge William V. Tucker for their plea hearings.

Seven months after taking spray paint to Glenelg High School, Shaffer and Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of destruction of property with evidence of animosity based on prejudice.

Sentencing for both is set for March. The state recommended a 3-year sentence for each, with a suspended sentence of all but nine weekends in jail for Taylor, and a suspended sentence of all but 18 weekends in jail for Shaffer.

Shaffer’s charge is directly tied to a message he spray painted about the school’s black principal.

His attorney, Joseph Murtha, told WJZ he’s remorseful.

“Oh, he regrets that he did it. It was an impulsive, ill-advised idea of four young men, who on the eve of graduation, made a dramatically different decision than they would have made today, that’s for sure,” Murtha said.

4 Students Charged After Md. School Vandalized With ‘Hateful,’ Anti-Semitic And Racist Graffiti

As part of the plea agreement, both Shaffer and Taylor will be responsible for paying fines and restitution,

They could also face a possible 150 hours of community service, taking a cultural awareness class, and spending jail time on weekends.

“Obviously they’ll be punishment. The goal is to limit it and hopefully in transforming his behavior through community service, his commitment to improving his own idea what is appropriate and inappropriate,” Murtha added.

Tyler Curtiss is scheduled for trial on January 14, 2019, while Matthew Lipp has a February 6 trial date.

The teens were charged after they allegedly painted hate-filled graffiti

The graffiti, that was described as anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and racist, was found spray-painted on the walls and sidewalks of Glenelg High School overnight on May 24.

All four were charged with multiple counts of “destruction of property based on race, color, religious belief, sexual orientation, or national origin.” It carries a penalty of up to three years in jail.

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Devin Bartolotta


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