Teen who passed pot to toddlers gets 8 years

July 25, 2008 4:18:59 AM PDT
One of the two teenagers caught on video coaxing two young children into smoking marijuana was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Fort Worth jury on Thursday. Demetris McCoy, 18, pleaded guilty to two charges of injury to a child/causing bodily injury and agreed with prosecutors to testify against his co-defendant, Vanswan Polty, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition Thursday.

While conducting a search at a Watauga home, Fort Worth police said they found a videotape of two teens handing marijuana to two children who were 2- and 4-years-old at the time. McCoy is the children's uncle. If his case had gone to trial and he had been convicted, McCoy would have faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Drug tests performed on the children revealed they had marijuana and cocaine in their system. The children have since been placed in foster care.

"I think Mr. McCoy recognized that a Tarrant County jury was not going to stand for his behavior and he did the proper thing by taking responsibility for his actions," Prosecutor Darrell Davila told the paper.

McCoy also pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary of a habitation and received eight years in each of those cases. All the sentences will run at the same time, the paper reported.

Polty, 19, remains in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial. He faces two charges of injury to a child, three charges of burglary of a habitation and one charge of failing to identify himself to a peace officer.

The children's mother, 21-year-old Shatorria Russell, was asleep in a back bedroom and didn't know what was going on, police have said. She was not arrested.

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