School System Charges Black Student with Criminal Mischief for Sex Doll
by Lewis Loflin
18-year-old Tyell Morton was out to have a little fun it seems. He broke into (or sneaked) into Rushville High in Rushville, Indiana. Wearing a hooded sweatshirt he left a package in the girls bathroom. School officials observed this on surveillance cameras and called in the bomb squad and evacuated the school. The "mysterious" package turned out to be an inflatable sex doll. The school system claims the prank cost them $8000.
Now Tyell faces a possible eight years in prison on criminal mischief charges. It seems on its face the case is absurd. The press claims Tyell has a clean record. Leonard Pitts, the infamous racist at the Miami Herald, has tried to turn this into a race issue. He noted in his column in the Bristol Herald Courier (June 25, 2011) that the Tyell's father didn't think race was an issue.
His father noted, "My son's life is more important than some racial issues some people just can't get over. That's what I want to focus on, man." In videos he seemed to be sort of a smart ass to me. He didn't seemed scared but more annoyed than anything else.
His father noted that whites have helped raise money for his $30,000 bond and his friends are white. Pitts compares this case to the Ryan LeVin who killed two British tourists in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. LeVin received two years house arrest at his luxury home after he paid off the relatives of the victims. The judge in this case should get eight years in jail.
Nobody can argue both cases are extreme, but there simply is no race issue Pitts so desperately wants. The school systems have been out of control for years due to Columbine with absurd "zero tolerance" policies that have expelled students for having a Tylenol tablet. These two cases are simply not related.
But we also have to call into question Tyell's gross lack of judgment. Why was he disguised and using latex gloves? What time of day did this occur, something that has been left out of every press report I found? If he had blown up the doll and left it instead of in a box, the prank would be obvious. And only he knows for sure. Did he intend to scare people with what any reasonable person could think is a bomb?
While the web is full of calls for "free Tyell" this again smacks of the Jena attack where six black thugs tried to kill a white student and were considered the victims. He is actually charged with criminal mischief, Indiana Code Section 35-43-1-2: Criminal mischief; penalties can be found at http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/incode/35/43/1/35-43-1-2.
While long and complex notes that, "knowingly or intentionally causes another to suffer pecuniary loss...by an expression of intention to injure another person or to damage the[ir] property." His big problem is the $8000 this cost the school. The other issue is just what did he intend to do here? Anyone with an IQ above five knows this would have been taken as a bomb threat. According to prosecutor Philip Caviness "It's how he carried it out..." "Expression of intention" is really the key.
Until the details are released we really just don't know what the circumstances are and can they prove the intent of Tyell Morton? One thing for sure if this student had been white Pitts and friends would have zero interest.