Judge rejects plea bargain for teen in school bus crash

June 20, 2013 at 6:31 PM
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ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 20 (UPI) -- A judge in New York state rejected a plea bargain for a teen who slammed his car into the back of a school bus because the agreement called for no jail time.

Lawyers for John Zakhary, 17, have been working with prosecutors for months on a plea bargain calling for him to get probation and perform community service for the October incident, in which a passenger in his car was seriously injured, The (Rochester, N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle reported Thursday.

At a hearing Thursday, prosecutors said Zakhary would agree to plead guilty, under youthful offender status, to two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault and reckless driving. In return he would be sentenced to five years of probation, would be required to perform 8 hours of community service every week during that time and would require the court's permission to get a driver's license.

Monroe County Court Judge James Piampiano said he would not agree to a deal that did not provide for at least 12 weekends in jail for Zakhary, the newspaper said.

Piampiano said if Zakhary's attorney, Larry Andolina, does not accept those terms, the defendant's trial will begin July 10.

Andolina said after Thursday's court session a trial might be necessary, the newspaper reported.

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