[Hpn] Cleveland, OH - Teenager is sentenced in attack on homeless - The Plain Dealer - November 04, 2003t

editor editor" <hcc@icanamerica.org
Tue, 4 Nov 2003 06:43:53 -0500


Teenager is sentenced in attack on homeless

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By Amanda Garrett - The Plain Dealer - November 04, 2003

Cleveland, OH - One of four teenagers accused of brutalizing
homeless people on Public Square this summer and videotaping the
attacks went to jail yesterday and is supposed to stay there
through the holidays.

When Joshua Langenheim, 19, gets out next year after three
months, he will be on home arrest and working off the second part
of his sentence - 150 hours of volunteer work with the
homeless.

"If I could order it, I'd order no Thanksgiving dinner, no
Christmas dinner while you are there," Cleveland Municipal Judge
C. Ellen Connally told Langenheim.

"You don't deserve it."

Langenheim and three friends - all from the Youngstown area - are
accused of coming to Cleveland Aug. 9 and kicking, urinating on
and shocking homeless people with a stun gun.

Police say the foursome created the best evidence in the criminal
cases against them - videotapes of the assaults.

The tapes not only captured the cruelty of the attacks, but also
the audio revealed the teenagers laughing as they filmed their
antics.

Three of the teenagers were charged as juveniles and their cases
are ongoing in Juvenile Court.

Langenheim, charged as an adult, pleaded no contest yesterday to
three misdemeanor assault charges in the case.

Tears garbled his words as he read aloud from an apology in
court.

"I don't know if this was the downfall . . . or the turning point
in my life," Langenheim said.

"All I know is that I look at things differently."

One of Langenheim's attorneys, Damian Billack, also asked for
leniency.

He emphasized his client's high school diploma, his job at
McDonald's and recent work with homeless shelters near
Youngstown.

But remorse wasn't enough for the judge.

"You could have been home in your warm bed," Connally scolded.
Instead, she said, "you attacked, as the Bible says, the least of
my brethren . . . and there, but for the grace of God, anyone can
be homeless."

Connally sentenced Langenheim to 540 days in the Cleveland House
of Correction, fined him $2,000 and ordered him to do 150 hours
of community service. She suspended much of the sentence.

Langenheim will spend 90 days at the correction center, 90 days
on home arrest and pay $700. He still must complete the community
service portion of the sentence, either here or closer to his
home in Youngstown.

As Connally announced her sentence, Langenheim slouched and
pulled his shirt sleeves over his hands as if he were trying to hide.

"Say goodbye to your parents now," Connally told him. "Because
you're not going home."
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 2003 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission

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