KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer
BENNINGTON -- Three young men who were charged last year for their roles in damaging a Dorset home during a drinking party have pleaded no contest to mischief charges and have received no jail time.
William T. Bazyk, 19, of Manchester, and John O’Leary, 19, of Dorset, pleaded no contest Tuesday to amended misdemeanor charges of unlawful mischief for which they received three- to six-month suspended sentences. They must also write apology letters to the homeowner and complete 100 hours of community service. Each will be on probation for a year.
Zachary Scholander, 21, of Manchester, pleaded no contest to a felony count of unlawful mischief and was given a two-year deferred sentence, meaning the charge comes off his record if he has no further legal problems for that time period.
Trevor Wilson, 17, of Manchester, is currently facing a felony unlawful mischief charge but is scheduled to for a change of plea hearing on Friday.
Elijah Brown, who was 17 when he was charged, had his case transferred to Family Court where it is not a public record. Brown is the grandson of the home’s owners.
All were charged in June, while the party that led to the charges occurred in March.
According to Vermont State Police, the home, located on McNamara Road, was owned by Doris and Seymour Aptekar, who were not there at the time of the party. Police learned of the damage when the home’s caretaker contacted them report it having been "destroyed." Inside police found empty beer bottles and broken doors, light fixtures, and mirrors.
A Vermont learner’s permit that had been left behind gave police someone to question and they learned a party had taken place, mostly attended by Burr and Burton Academy students. Brown told police most of the damage was done by older people who arrived later in the evening and he had been too scared to contact police when they were doing damage.
A person at the party said they saw Scholander walking around with a fire poker or shovel, and that Scholander told him he and Wilson had damaged light fixtures, a door, and a television. Scholander was questioned by police and told them he had seen O’Leary and Bazyk smashing glass items in a room.
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