Last Winslow Twp. suspect sentenced

No break for boy, 15, in Winslow plot:

The last of the four Winslow Township High plotters has been sentenced…

He said he did it because he was bullied. He said that he did it because his new friends offered him protection, and that he never meant to massacre teachers and students.

He said he did it because he was scared and now knows better.

But in the end, a judge yesterday sentenced a 15-year-old Winslow Township youth to three years in a state juvenile facility, saying that he wasn’t convinced the teen had been rehabilitated and that he still needs intense psychological treatment.

Standing before State Superior Court Judge Angelo DiCamillo, the slight youth stood in a gray suit and striped tie and said he didn’t have the stomach for murder.

“I would have never done it, I’ll tell you that,” said the teen, whose name is being withheld because of his age.

But if you check in the archives you can find his name as it was released by another media outlet.

DiCamillo asked the boy how he had come to be a part of the plot. His friend Edwin DeLeon approached him “and asked me if I wanted to do it, and was I interested. I agreed and said yes,” the teen said.

The boy maintained that he agreed only to be accepted. “I kind of really wanted to be with that crowd. They were the cool kids to me at that time. I wasn’t fitting in. If I said yes, they’d accept me.”

Addressing the court, the youth’s father said the boy had been a target of bullying since fifth grade and had suffered a broken collarbone and eye orbit at the hands of other children. He had been picked on for years, but his new friends offered him something he had never had before: the chance to fit in, the chance to be safe.

When his son began hanging around the two older boys – DeLeon, 15, and Peter Cunningham, 16 – they had already concocted the plot, the father said. “Suddenly, nobody bothered him,” he said. “I understood why he said yes.”

I don’t. In the 12 years that I was bullied and picked on I never once thought of resorting to murder. If one of my kids had I still wouldn’t understand it.

The boy said he wished he could start over again. “I’m very remorseful of what I’ve done. I wish I could take it all back. I was very immature, I had immature thoughts and feelings.”

The judge agreed, and said that there were lingering effects in the community. “People are afraid to go to school,” he said. “People have refused to go back to school.”

DiCamillo said that the New Jersey State Training School for Boys in Jamesburg would be the best place for the teen, and that although his sentence was longer than those of DeLeon and Cunningham, who will both be eligible for parole in about a year, he would consider lightening the boy’s term in six months.

In these situations I always have to ask is he remorseful for what he was planning or is he remorseful because he got caught? Hindsight is 20/20 but this kid committed a crime and now has to pay for his actions.

5 Comments

  1. Living in Winslow Twp and knowing one of the boys as well as having direct reaction from those in town I can only say all four boys got off easy. They caused great stress and panic for many. They also really messed with the minds of their fellow students. Whenever these boys are unleashed on the community again they will not get a heroes welcome back. The superintendent stated that the thrre from Winslow High would never be a llowed back even if the were released. Having seen two of the boys, Cunningham and DeLeon on all local channels for their sentecing and allocution hearings it seems that the only thing they are truly sorry about is being caught. When questioned by the judge regarding his intent Cunningham looked as if he wanted to kill the judge. DeLeon had a milder looked but was seemed to be lacking sincerity in his apology. I am not certain what prisons that Cunningham and DeLeon are being sent to but Jimmy is going to Jamesburg Juvenile Facility. The hope is that he will get help but the fact is that Jamesburg is a prison just like the others are going to and not one of them will come out less violent and be less danger to the community.

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  2. lol, noI advocate disipline. I got my ass kicked as a kid as did most people from my generation and those prior to us. Kids now are just getting some toys taken away for a little while and time outs… and these are the kids that are killing people. see a trend ?

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  3. loose litigation is one of the biggest problems this nation has. We have always been taught that lawyers were evil and they ahve shown us that the rumor is absolutly true.Any lawyer who would take cases such as the one Nettie explained or the various McDonalds lawsuits should be disbarred and any judge who even entertains such drivle should lose his bench (and maybe be beaten with his gavel).The teachers can not raise the children because if the children do not fear the parents, why in the hell would they fear the teachers ?I didnt grow up in a place where schools handed out physical punishment, but I feared the phone call my parents would get if I was out of line. I knew full well that I would get my ass handed to me if they got that phone call.Kids dont fear anything as long as they can call their state’s DCS and claim charges. I know of people who have been held hostage by their asshole kids because the kids know that all it takes is a phone call and mommy &amp daddy go bye bye.

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  4. Peter Cunningham was always a sweet person, quiet in class and outspoken (sometimes a little irksome) with his friends, but never once did I see him angry, and even when no one else was, Peter was always good to me. The youngest one, whose name was never released and therefore I won’t tell it here, was a friend to me, but he was pulled around by his emotions and extremely foolish. I am glad that he did not go to prison for any amount of time, because it really was the fault of one person. Though he was my friend, and at times I do miss him, Edwin DeLeon scared me. He was young, but there seemed so much power in him, the potential for, well, evil, though it is cliche. Evil against another human being. When I knew what was happening, when I noticed that Pete and Edwin were gone, I felt guilt. I knew that he was capable of something like this, I knew that he would most likely try it, but I didn’t know that he would drag anyone else into it. I felt bad for those two, but not for Edwin, because he did deserve to go.The part that nothing was reported on, the part that made life difficult, was the after-effect left on students, teachers, and the police. I was in that group of students, that twenty or so who met in certain places between periods of school to catch up and have fun before our next class. We all happened to wear dark clothing (there really is nothing attatched to that- wearing dark colors doesn’t mean that you are “goth” or mean-spirited at all), and we were marked. Police monitored our time together, followed us and even wrote our names down to check us. Teachers told classes not to wear dark colors just in case you are targeted, because other students started throwing rocks and anything they could at us, or running up to us and telling us to please not shoot them, or to please shoot this person. I had one boy walk up to me and ask me if I would make sure to shoot him in the leg to give him a battle scar to talk about. Some of them were serious, some of them were not. A few of my friends were forced by their parents to wear polo shirts and light jeans to blend in, because there was actually a chance of retaliatory violence from the other students- retaliation for no other crime than being the friends of a few bad people! I was shocked, watching the rest of my school fall into hysteria while my group of friends huddled together, standing up for whatever rights we had as students, to learn and to be who we want to be, with no threat to anyone else.I will never forget those weeks in April where my friends were carted away or abused by our peers. But mostly, I will never forget the image of Edwin DeLeon, censored in his youth, laughing in the back of a police car, sitting next to a dejected and terrified kid and a pensive, long-haired Peter Cunningham. They cut off his hair, you know. The last bit of his freedom.

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