Student Takes Plea Deal In Race Graffiti Case

BLOOMFIELD TWP. (WWJ/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.

Thomas reportedly confessed to scrawling threats on the boys bathroom wall along with racial remarks aimed at five students, including himself.

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

Police said Thomas told the school about the racially tinged graffiti, using the n-word and the names of five African-American students at Birmingham Seaholm High School — including his own — next to words “should be lynched,” and “I’m going to kill them.”

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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