|The two remaining teenage girls accused in the videotaped beating of a former Mulberry High School cheerleader accepted plea deals Wednesday morning.|
Kayla Hassall, 16, and April Cooper, 15, will be punished as juveniles.
Circuit Judge Keith Spoto must devise appropriate sentences at their March 11 sentencing hearings.
Hassall and Cooper were charged with participating in the March 30, 2008, attack of Victoria Lindsay, then 16, and threatening to post videos of the beating on YouTube and MySpace.
In the hallway outside the courtroom, photographers captured Hassall as she offered a tearful apology to Talisa Lindsay, the stepmother of Victoria Lindsay, who also came to the brief hearing Wednesday.
As part of her plea deal, Hassall pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery. Prosecutors dropped a felony count of kidnapping, which carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Cooper pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor battery.
The final plea deals assure that a trial won't take place in the infamous beating case, which has generated national media attention.
Along with their other three co-defendants, Hassall and Cooper are prohibited from giving interviews to the media for profit. They must also write letters of apology.
Brittany Mayes, 18, pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to misdemeanor battery.
She faces either juvenile or adult sanctions for the battery charge, which carries a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail, at her sentencing hearing March 5.
Prosecutors have described Brittini Hardcastle and Mercades Nichols as principal suspects in the beating.
Hardcastle was identified along with Cooper by Lindsay as striking her on the video footage, according to court records.
Hardcastle, 18, pleaded guilty Jan. 29 to false imprisonment and battery. Prosecutors agreed to drop a felony charge of tampering with a witness.
Hardcastle could receive up to five months in jail and three to five years' probation at her March 20 sentencing hearing.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Victoria Lindsay attackers all take plea deals.
Crime: Some jail time would be nice.