A Casper teenager admitted Thursday morning to fighting a 14-year-old, knocking him to the ground and stealing his sneakers at a Mills house party earlier this year.
Nicholas Fenton, 18, made the admission in Natrona County District Court as part of an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to a single felony. The deal calls for a judge to sentence Fenton to seven to 10 years imprisonment with a recommendation he attend boot camp.
If Fenton were to successfully complete the corrections department program in Newcastle, he could then go before the same judge and ask her to modify his sentence, placing him on probation and suspending of the remainder of the prison sentence.
The case became public when video of a man widely identified as Fenton circulated on social media. The incident in the cellphone footage resembles a beating more than a fight: the man can be seen at a house party before the video cuts to a clip of a him outside, kicking a much smaller person in the head, neck and shoulders. The child lies on pavement, curled in the fetal position, with arms and hands wrapped around his face and upper head. Toward the end of the video, blood can be seen dripping from the boy’s mouth.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri said he expected the extent of the boy’s injuries and his recovery from them would become more clear at sentencing. The prosecutor, however, declined to comment further on the child’s condition Thursday afternoon.
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During the Thursday morning hearing, Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer, who covered the hearing for Taheri, amended a charge of aggravated robbery to robbery and noted he would dismiss two other felonies against Fenton as part of the agreement. Fenton, who wore a jail inmate’s uniform, then entered his single guilty plea.
He then told Judge Catherine Wilking that he knocked the boy to the ground as part of a fight before taking the boy’s shoes and belt. When Wilking asked if the child was incapacitated, Fenton didn’t offer a direct response.
“He was not knocked out cold,” Fenton said.
Wilking will sentence Fenton after corrections department agents complete an investigation into his background.