Why did these punks get four years? Because...

Posted: February 09, 2012

AFTER LISTENING to their lame excuses, such as "because" and "I didn't want to be called a chump," Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty sentenced two 15-year-old boys to four years' detention yesterday for nearly beating to death a Vietnam veteran last month in Olney.

The sentence was the toughest Dougherty could give the teens. He said he wished that he could have done more.

"I should commit you to the military," Dougherty said. "You have a man who served his country. . . . He believed your freedom was worth dying for, but the possibility of his death occurred on our streets by you."

The boys pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, robbery and conspiracy. In exchange, prosecutors dropped attempted-murder charges.

The victim, Edward Schaefer, 64, who lost an eye in Vietnam, was walking on 5th Street near Ashdale to meet his wife about 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 when the teens punched and kicked him, causing numerous fractures to his jaw, skull and eye sockets.

Schaefer was in the hospital for days and still has a large gash on his nose. He's lost 20 pounds and still can't eat solid foods.

Police said that the motive was robbery - they took Schaefer's phone, but in court the boys provided more senseless reasons.

One teen said, "It just happened." When pushed further by Dougherty, he said, "I did it because, I really don't know, sir."

When Dougherty questioned the other boy, he told him that he had to fight somebody that night or else his co-defendant and another boy were going to jump him.

When handing down his strict sentence, Dougherty said, "I will not let this generation become a degeneration."

He also ordered the boys' parents to pay restitution for Schaefer's medical bills.

"You should be embarrassed, shamed and repulsed that these children carry your name," he said. "If you can't control it, I have done the most appropriate thing and removed them from your care."

Outside the courtroom, Schaefer said he thought that the sentence was fair. He said that he hasn't seen the surveillance tape of his beating and doesn't want to. Dougherty was shown the tape during the hearing.

"I've seen my bloody face so many times, it's ridiculous," he said. "I definitely do not need to see myself get the stuffing kicked out of me."

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