Northwestern inmate to plead guilty
SHAMOKIN - One of four males charged in a June 12 disturbance at the Northwestern Academy Secure Program boot camp waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and plans to plead guilty to conspiracy in the Court of Common Pleas in Sunbury.
Jalen Kirk, 18, of Indian Head, Md., was returned to the academy and remains on unsecured bail after waiving to court two counts each of simple assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault and harassment.
According to assistant district attorney Michael Toomey, Kirk plans to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and receive a probation sentence. Public defender Melissa Norton, who represented Kirk, declined comment.
A hearing for co-defendant Stephawn M. Watson, 18, of Capital Heights, Md., was continued Tuesday because Norton had a conflict representing both men.
Watson is charged with the same offenses and remains in Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury.
Erick A. Flores, 19, of Gaithersburg, Md., who was charged with similar offenses in the disturbance, was released from the academy and remains free on probation in Maryland.
Police said Watson and Kirk pulled a minor boy into a back room and held him so he could not move or yell. Flores joined the duo in holding the minor, and the men told the minor they were going to "make him tough." Kirk and Watson struck the minor in the arms until the boy broke free and ran away, police said.
Watson, Kirk and a 17-year-old male juvenile from Maryland also are charged in another fight June 12 with a different minor boy. They allegedly detained the minor and punched him, leaving bruises on his arms, shoulders and chest.
The 17-year-old is in a detention center in Maryland.
All the charges were filed by Coal Township Patrolman Matthew Hashuga.