City Councilman gets involved in Hamilton High vandalism case

In a critical letter to the District Attorney General, City Council member E.C. Jones says the state is not being tough enough on two teens charged with vandalizing Hamilton High School and - he says - it's not fair to leave taxpayers footing the bill for their mess.

With early damage estimates at more than a hundred grand, Memphis City Councilman E.C. Jones says the District Attorney General should be tougher with two teens charged for the crime.

"That's not very much punishment - in my opinion - for doing that much damage to the school," says Jones.

The two teens 16 year-old Jerome Pettis and 17 year-old George Love were charged as juveniles with burglary and with vandalism. The school system is considering a 180-day suspension for the two. In a letter to the D.A.G., Jones writes the charges should be more substantial and that - he thinks - even the parents should be held accountable.

"This is not a minor offense... You're talking about a hundred thousand dollars," says Jones.

Gibbons hadn't yet seen the letter when we caught up with him.

"We have not decided at this point whether or not to seek a transfer and whether to try them as adults because frankly we have not reviewed the file yet."

He says that if the teens are charged as adults, they could get eight to twelve years on the vandalism charges. If not, a judge could decide to hold their parents accountable to some degree.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure these two juveniles are held accountable for what they did," he says.

Otherwise, E.C. Jones says he worries taxpayers will be left to pay for the damages. The two teens are due back in court on March 15th.