Middle-school beating suspect allowed outdoors privilege

Updated 4/4/2017 1:33 PM

The boy accused of beating a classmate in February at Kenyon Woods Middle School will no longer have to wear an electronic monitoring anklet, a judge decided Tuesday.

The 14-year-old boy will be allowed out of his house to skateboard in front of it, Judge Clint Hull decided, because he has obeyed all the conditions placed on him at his initial court appearance Feb. 21. That includes attending an alternative school, where he is "thriving," assistant public defender Brenda Covey told Hull.


"I want him to be able to go outside" to exercise, Hull said.

The juvenile is charged with felony aggravated battery, which is punishable by up to five years in a state juvenile detention center. He also faces misdemeanor charges of battery.

He is accused of throwing 12-year-old Henry Sembdner to the floor in a school hallway, then hitting him several times in the head, after Sembdner bumped into him Feb. 2. Sembdner suffered broken facial bones and bleeding on the brain, and spent several days in a medically induced coma.

The youth appeared in court with his mother and father. The father told Hull he has been driving his son to and from school.

The youth is attending the Dedication Responsibility Education Attitude and Motivation Academy, run by Elgin Area School District U-46.

The boy is also allowed to perform outdoor chores.

He will continue to be subject to random checks on his status from pretrial services officials, and he is not to go anywhere but school without first receiving the officials' permission.

His next court date is May 2.

Sembdner's parents have sued the school district, seeking to preserve all school records related to the attack. The suit raises the question of whether school authorities sought medical help for Henry in a timely manner. According to the suit, Henry was first taken to the school nurse's office and officials did not call 911 until one of his eyes swelled and he became nauseated.

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