- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Two teenagers charged as adults were sentenced yesterday in Alexandria Circuit Court for punching a T.C. Williams High School junior to death in September in Old Town Alexandria.

Patrick Casey, 17, and Brian Adem, 16, are to be confined to juvenile detention until they are 21 years old. Then, they are to be released on 10 years probation, Judge Donald M. Haddock ruled yesterday.

The two and another 17-year-old had pleaded guilty to the slugging death of Schuyler Hamilton Jones, 16, a popular junior on the crew team at T.C. Williams. The third assailant, unidentified since he pleaded guilty in Juvenile Court, is awaiting sentencing.

The case has drawn widespread attention. The courtroom was packed for nearly eight hours as Judge Haddock listened to arguments for and against possible 10-year sentences in adult prison for Casey and Adem. In January, the two youths pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in adult circuit court, knowing they could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Casey’s mother said her son suffers from bipolar disorder, and she had been trying to get him admitted to a private, secure facility. She criticized police for not catching him in August after he was reported to have run away.

Schuyler’s mother, Tracy Hollingsworth, has said that justice from the sentencings was impossible because “there’s no way to make up for losing a life when you’re 16 years old.”

According to police reports, Schuyler was attacked at about 11 p.m. Sept. 13 at Market Square outside Alexandria City Hall.

The attackers came at him from three directions and punched him in the head. The T.C. Williams High School junior fell, his head striking the brick sidewalk.

Although it seemed that the sidewalk might have caused the fatal injury, the medical examiner later reported that a punch to the head caused the brain hemorrhage.

A week later, Alexandria police charged Casey, a student at Bishop Ireton High School; Adem, a student at West Potomac High School, and the other 17-year-old, also a student at Bishop Ireton, with second-degree murder.

Police investigators said one of the three had been with a group of youths earlier, when they were smoking pot and drinking beer. That youth had quarreled and fought with Schuyler more than a year before, and Schuyler was accused of pelting his home with eggs.

By cell phone, the youth learned that Schuyler was in Old Town Alexandria, and he summoned allies to the scene.

As he was attacked, the 6-foot-5-inch Schuyler said he did not want to fight. After Schuyler fell, the attackers fled.

In December, the unidentified attacker pleaded guilty in juvenile court to involuntary manslaughter, after which Judge Stephen W. Rideout wrote that Schuyler might be alive if the attackers had been sober.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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