Two teenagers charged with committing a hate crime against a black teen were ordered today to have no contact with the alleged victim.
During an appearance by the two in Cook County Juvenile Court today, Judge Colleen Sheehan also set a 7 p.m. curfew for both teens, ages 16 and 17.
The two boys and an 18-year-old from Alsip are suspected of luring the alleged victim, Joshua Merritt, 17, to the 16-year-old’s home on Dec. 23, police said. Once there, the three teens, who are white, put a noose around his neck and directed racial epithets at him, authorities and the victim have said. The 16-year-old put a knife to the victim’s throat and threatened to kill him, police said.
If convicted, the two juveniles could face a punishment ranging from probation to a stint in juvenile detention until their 21st birthdays, the judge said.
Sheehan barred the 16-year-old suspect from possessing any weapons.
Michael Clancy, an attorney for the 17-year-old suspect, said his client was expelled from Brother Rice High School since the incident and that his family is in the process of finding a new school for him. Clancy declined to answer reporters’ questions after the hearing but described the allegations against his client as being in the “wrong place, wrong time.”
An attorney for the 16-year-old suspect told the judge that the boy is currently enrolled at Morgan Park High School but that his parents want him transferred for his safety.
The 16-year-old’s mother also declined to answer reporters' questions but denied any wrongdoing by her son.Copyright © 2015, CT Now