First of four LB Aquarium vandals sentenced. +

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on December 09, 2004 at 17:46:27:

LONG BEACH One of four teens charged in the killing of two sharks and a ray was ordered Wednesday to spend three months at a juvenile camp.

The 14-year-old boy, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit animal abuse, must complete counseling, humane education training and 150 hours of community service, which includes cleaning beaches, said Deputy District Attorney Sheila Callaghan.

He also was ordered to pay a $100 fine and avoid visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific unless accompanied by aquarium workers, the prosecutor said.

Three 13-year-old boys charged with felonies in the animals' deaths are scheduled to return to court Jan. 11 to set a date for their trial.

Each is charged with two counts of commercial burglary, four counts of animal cruelty, two counts of vandalism and two counts of conspiracy to commit animal cruelty. The boys face up to nine years in detention if convicted.

Authorities contend that the three entered the outdoor shark exhibit late Nov. 7 or early Nov. 8, dragged a 3-foot nurse shark from a touch pool, slammed the animal against the concrete and dragged it to some shrubs to die.

The teens also allegedly flung a 2-foot-long bamboo shark onto a bird exhibit and pulled a cow-nosed ray from a touch tank and stabbed it before leaving it on the ground.

The 14-year-old boy was at the aquarium only once and was arrested before any animals were killed, authorities said.

I hope the other three get the same judge.

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