Student gets plea deal in race graffiti case

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP (AP) -- A black student accused of writing graffiti threatening black students at his affluent suburban Detroit high school has received probation after a deal with prosecutors.

Defense lawyer Wendy Barnwell has said that 18-year-old Courtney Thomas was the victim of a white classmate's bullying at the school.

Thomas was originally charged with ethnic intimidation but pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.

A judge in Oakland County's Bloomfield Township sentenced him Wednesday to one year's probation and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service.

The graffiti incident led to Thomas's suspension from Birmingham Seaholm High School, which has about 1,250 students and is about 15 miles northwest of Detroit.

The graffiti appeared April 20. A letter with derogatory language was found the next day in a teacher's mailbox.

Published: Fri, Oct 7, 2011

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