Accused Bully Now Faces Weapon, Drug Charges
Michael Conway, 19, was charged with possession of a BB gun and drug paraphernalia on Saturday; trial postponed to determine whether he should be denied pre-trial intervention.
The Pre-Trial Intervention program requested by attorneys for Michael Conway, who is accused of trying to cover up his involvement in a bullying incident of a Morristown High School freshman who later killed himself, is in jeopardy due to an arrest over the weekend in Morristown.
Conway, 19, appeared before Morris County Superior Court Judge Salem Ahto Monday but his attorney, Edmund DeNoia, told the court his client had been arrested Saturday for an unrelated incident involving a BB gun and drug paraphernalia found in his car.
Conway was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.
"I just found out orally this morning," said DeNoia, who noted others were in Conway's car and that the BB gun was found in the backseat. He did not say whether or not the drug paraphernalia was found on Conway or not.
Assistant Prosecutor Samantha DeNegri said, based on the weekend charge, the county was prepared to deny PTI, but agreed to adjourn the trial to Aug. 27 in order to review the case. Those allowed to enter PTI do not admit guilt and the charges are dismissed if they complete the program without running into legal trouble or violating any of the conditions of their probation.
"Obviously, this has changed the scenario," Ahto said.
Conway is accused of making false statements to police regarding an incident in the Century 21 parking garage where 15-year-old Lennon Baldwin was robbed by two other MHS students and told it was payback for one of them getting suspended after they had assaulted him at the high school. Baldwin killed himself in his Morris Township home on March 28.
In a statement made Monday, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said if the charges over the week prove to be true, it will show Conway has not listened to authorities, should not be eligible for PTI and "will be aggressively prosecuted.
"For now, we will wait to determine what the investigation reveals and take the appropriate action against all parties," he said.
Conway has only been charged with the fourth-degree charge of making false statements to police and not with the assault on Baldwin. The two juveniles, who have not been publicly named because of their ages, took plea deals on July 24.