Harlem teen charged in gang case surrenders

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From The New York Times

A Harlem teenager who received the financial and spiritual support of the Abyssinian Baptist Church after she was charged with being involved in a gang surrendered herself to jail on Tuesday as part of a plea deal.

The teenager, Afrika Owes, plans to plead guilty on July 7 in State Supreme Court in Manhattan to felony charges of conspiracy and weapons possession, her lawyer said in court.

Although the terms of the plea deal have not been made final, Ms. Owes’s lawyer, Elsie Chandler, said she hoped that her client would be released by the middle of September so she could return to high school for her senior year. In that chain of events, Ms. Owes would remain under law-enforcement supervision and have a court-ordered curfew during her senior year, Ms. Chandler said. The supervision would continue until Ms. Owes enrolls in college.

Ms. Chandler said that if Ms. Owes stayed out of trouble, she hoped the judge would adjudicate her client as a youthful offender, meaning that her conviction would be vacated and the record sealed.

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