Posts Tagged ‘harrison david’
Christopher Coles is now the latest member of the Columbia Five to enter a guilty plea to charges of selling drugs to undercover cops. The plea comes after he was offered a drug treatment deal in early November. Under the terms of that deal, he was to pay $40,000 for rehab and attend the program for a year before he would be allow to withdraw his guilty plea and have the charges against him dismissed. Shortly after being offered the deal, Coles failed a drug test and was jailed again. Today Cole was offered the same deal, and he accepted.
Prosecutors had argued against sending Coles to rehab, saying he was motivated by profit. Coles’ attorneys, however, painted a picture of a good student in thrall to drug addiction. They said he sold drugs as a means of financing his $70-to-$100-a-day marijuana habit. They said he had repeatedly tried to kick this habit, visiting with campus health services three times before his arrest in December 2010. And, they said, his parents had become so frustrated with his drug use that they had stopped paying their portion of his tuition.
All these claims were enough to convince the judge, who agreed to send Coles to rehab instead of jail.
Of the Columbia Five, three other members have also pleaded guilty: Harrison David, Michael Wymbs, and Jose Stephan Perez. Only David, convicted of selling cocaine, has been sentenced to jail time. Adam Klein, the only one left whose case has not yet been resolved, will be in court again next week.
Harrison David, SEAS ’12, began serving his 3 1/2 month sentence at Rikers Island this morning, the New York Post reports. On July 19, David plead guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, making him the first of the Columbia 5 to be convicted for the group’s alleged crimes. According to the Post report, David gave “an emotional courtroom hug” to his father before turning himself in, even though the two feuded publicly after the initial arrests.
David was sentenced to 6 months total, but will be able to leave in mid-December thanks to to good behavior and the time he served prior to his conviction.
For the full history of the December 2010 drug bust and its implications, see our Year in Review profile of the scandal.
UPDATE (1:42 p.m.): Check out the full news story here.
Jessica Stallone reported from the courtroom, where the Columbia Five had another court appointment today.
Harrison David, SEAS ’12, plead guilty this morning to one count of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance of the Third Degree, a felony. He will be sentenced to six months in prison and a concurrent five year period of probation.
This is a lesser sentence than the plea deal prosecutors offered him four weeks ago that would have sent him to a year in prison, and less than the federally mandated three-year minimum prison term he would have faced had he been convicted of the felony.
Assistant District Attorney William Novak said, “While it will be less incarceration time, the additional three years of monitoring time will be in the interest of justice.”
With good behavior David may have his sentence reduced to four months. David has already served two-and-a-half weeks of the sentence because of the time he spent in jail back in December.
Matthew Myers, Harrison David’s lawyer said, “I think it was a fair resolution. He’s respectful, has a very bright future, and has never been incarcerated before” adding that he thought the original plea bargain offered four weeks ago “was somewhat harsh.”
Check later for a full news update of the court appointment. The rest of the Columbia Five (Columbia Four?) maintained not guilty pleas.
A few updates from the News desk’s Sarah Darville and Sammy Roth:
- Michael Wymbs was released on bail this afternoon around 2 p.m. Klein, too, has been released. The others remain at Manhattan Detention Center downtown—not Rikers Island, as some previous reports had indicated.
- Adam Klein’s lawyer, Hershel Katz, said this afternoon that Klein’s parents had intended to post bail. “I believe it [Klein's bail] was very high for someone who has no criminal record, attending college, who lives with his parents when not at school, who poses no flight risk and by now has one of the most recognizable faces in the country,” Katz said.
- Klein’s next court date is Jan. 11 at the New York State Supreme Court Part 21.
- A Dept. of Corrections spokesperson says that Harrison David, Chris Coles, and Jose Stephan Perez are all in separate cells and could potentially be transferred to jail on Rikers Island if they stay in custody, but there were no specific plans to transfer them there.
- David, Coles, and Perez can still post bail at any time.
Here’s Sarah discussing the drug busts on CNN this afternoon.
The five students arrested this morning and charged with selling drugs have been arraigned and have entered “not guilty” pleas, Spec’s Alix Pianin reports. The judge has set bond for each of them:
- Harrison David: $75,000 bond, $50,000 cash
- Jose Stephan Perez: $30,000 bond, $20,000 cash
- Michael Wymbs: $35,000 bond, $25,000 cash
- Chris Coles: $40,000 bond, $25,000 cash
- Adam Klein: $35,000 bond, $25,000 cash
Only Michael Wymbs appears prepared to post bail—his parents came to the Manhattan Supreme Court this afternoon with a blank check. Those suspects who don’t post bail will be headed to jail at Rikers Island later tonight.