Big-name attorneys to defend Ensworth student bomb-makers

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 10:45pm

At least a few of the Ensworth student-athletes arrested last week will have well-known faces in the legal community representing them in court.

The former U.S. prosecutor for the Middle District of Tennessee, Ed Yarbrough, will represent two of the juveniles while former Davidson County Assistant District Attorney Jim Todd will represent three others in the case.

Metro police, responding to a call of “shots fired,” arrested seven Ensworth students early last Wednesday for setting off what police called 11 homemade “chemical reaction devices” in a yard of the home of another student.

The students mixed household chemicals and aluminum foil in plastic bottles, which can cause the bottles to expand and eventually explode.

Todd said the seven juveniles were charged with delinquencies that would be classified as class A misdemeanors if they were adults.

In juvenile court, Yarbrough said the minors could face probation or incarceration in a juvenile facility, though the latter seems unlikely as none of the seven students charged have prior criminal records.

Yarbrough is hopeful the matter would be settled through a pre-trial diversion.

“What’s possible — of course it’ll be up to the judge and the district attorney — would be a diversion agreement that allows them to perhaps do some public service work or any other conditions that might be affixed by the court,” he said, “and then once it’s all over have the matter dismissed and their records expunged, which is the ideal outcome for young people who have no prior history.”

Yarbrough declined to comment on how a former U.S. prosecutor came to represent two high school students in what police said appeared to be meant as a high-school prank, albeit a potentially dangerous one involving mixing explosive chemicals.

“This is the type of work I did before I went over to the prosecutor’s office,” said Yarbrough, who stepped aside from the federal post following the swearing in of his successor Jerry Martin in May.

“It’s a situation that’s unfortunate, but it has to be dealt with in the legal system,” he said.

A settlement hearing on the matter is set for Aug. 12.

It was unclear if the two other students charged had legal representation.

29 Comments on this post:

By: vandyman on 7/28/10 at 6:58

No different than what my buddies and I did in the 50's. Took some gun powder(used for hunting!), placed in milk carton,set loooong fuse and set it off with a battery. We didn't get arrested. World has really changed. Doubt these kids are dangerous.

By: Buddyg on 7/28/10 at 7:04

Great summer school lesson for these kids. Stay in school, make lots of money, hire big lawyers to get you out of any trouble you get in. Future politicians in the making.

By: govskeptic on 7/28/10 at 7:23

The system will make everything "just fine" with the little
darlings of the ruling class. Don't you worry children!

By: mamtou on 7/28/10 at 7:49

Vandyman I was just thinking the same thing. Times have definitely changed. I think they will learn their lesson and move on with life. Use to be the parents dealt with these things now the system deals with them! More money for the lawyers, courts etc.

By: richgoose on 7/28/10 at 8:24

These seven kids will someday have to support not only their own families but the families of 21 underclass families.

By: richgoose on 7/28/10 at 8:24

These seven kids will someday have to support not only their own families but the families of 21 underclass families.

By: brooks53 on 7/28/10 at 8:35

I'm not sure these boys should have been arrested. I think somone could have gotten seriously hurt, but arresting them was a little much. A written warning should have been enough...I do have a question though. Whatever happened to the boy from Ensworth who was accused of molesting a little boy or boys in his neighborhood? I find it funny that last year one night while watching the 5 pm news there was a story and then by 10pm it was gone. Never to be heard about again. This is more serious than making a plastic watter bottle bomb. Just goes to show that money can even pay off the media.

By: Buddyg on 7/28/10 at 8:41

Richgoose, maybe 1 or 2 will make it., probably the ones smart enouh to make to make the devices. The others will flounder around as some legacy at some institution of higher learning where they will advance thier notion that they are entitled some how to act as they please and there will always be a life line thrown because no family wants to live with the shame that they didn't help enough.

By: youmustbekiddingme on 7/28/10 at 8:48

Or maybe allowing them to enjoy the consequence of their actions. At some point, Mommy and Daddy will no longer be around to open the checkbook and make it all better. The trustafarians will just continue unheeded but that's the way it's always been.

By: caholt on 7/28/10 at 8:57

While reading this story I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if these 7 students had been of a certain ethnic background or religion. Would they still have had the opportunity to acquire this high-powered legal representation or would they have been whisked away to Guantanamo Bay under suspicion of being a 'sleeper cell'?

Cyn in TN

By: morpheus120 on 7/28/10 at 9:32

Good point, caholt.

Regardless, these kids should be put through the system for this. Those waterbottle bombs can actually kill people and they are almost completely undetectable at first glance. What if your child or your pet came upon it?

As for what Vandyman, Brooks53, and mamtou say about letting the kids off with a slap on the wrist and letting the parents deal with it, I say... what the hell are you smoking? Haven't you just seen how the parents are dealing with it? They're hiring top-notch lawyers to get their little angels out of trouble. If parents today were worth a damn, the cops wouldn't even be bothering with this. A good ass-kicking, grounding, and tour of duty with community service is what the parents should be doing to these kids, but no - they're going to lawyer up and take the "boys will be boys" defense. THAT's why the police have to straighten these kids out - their parents won't.

By: wayitis on 7/28/10 at 9:53

They should get ready there going to perform a few hundred hours of community service each.

By: Loretta Bridge on 7/28/10 at 10:00

I be the police get to Green Hills and Bellmeade quicker than they get to
the Northside and Bourdeaux. I didn't know you could get arrested for doing the
same thing most boys did in the 50's and 60's.........Oh I forgot we didn't live in the
Golden Getto.

By: SirKnight on 7/28/10 at 10:30

morpheus, why slam the families for securing legal representation to defend their sons, as though there is something wrong with that? You can bet that their parents were none too pleased with them. I know some great kids that made some bad choices when they were teens (myself included). We weren't arrested or sued, but we were definitely held accountable. Thankfully, my parents didn't have to hire a lawyer. Thirty years ago, we definitely paid restitution for our mistakes! I've never forgotten it and learned a lesson, as well.

By: modern4life on 7/28/10 at 10:36

Can someone with knowledge please inform: does Ensworth have an honor code?

By: Photodeluxe on 7/28/10 at 11:05

I think that mentioning the school in the headline is unfair. They were not on school property, school is not in session and the school had nothing to do with it. I agree that this is blown out of proportion, kids do stupid things. Rich white kids get away with stupid things, even murder. I question the motives behind this story.

By: SirKnight on 7/28/10 at 1:50

I know there is a strong connection, and therefore a bias, with Montgomery Bell Academy at The City Paper. It explains why you see a lot of sports coverage of MBA teams over the rest of Nashville area schools. There is also a widely-known feudthat exists between the schools regarding the loss of students from MBA to Ensworth in recent years.

If you google MBA v. Ensworth, you can read about the scandalous play and animosity between the schools and teams. So, it wouldn't surprise me if you're on to something, Photo.

By: GUARDIAN on 7/28/10 at 2:56

This is insane. There was nothing wrong with what they did. i've seen boys and a few girls do the same thing for over 50 years. MR.SCIENCE is dead long live the state and comrade teacher. Bomb makers my a$$. Under this law if you took two firecrackers from the 4th of July put them in tin foil, twisted the wicks together and lit them you could be charged with the same crime. What this country needs is a good enema. Clean out all the liberals, socialist, communist, marxist, progressives, illegals, greenkooks, bad laws or special laws for special people, welfare without reason and state run media. Isn't that simple. America is now fixed. Once again these boys should of been told to get an adult to watch them and LEO went on their way.

By: DavidSchwetty on 7/28/10 at 4:04

Acutally SIr Knight, there is much more of an EHS connection with the City Paper than one from MBA. Townes Duncan, a partner at Solidus Co. (the parent company of SouthComm and therefore the City Paper), is a lifetime board member at EHS.

As to your comment on EHS stealing students from MBA, almost half of the EHS 6th grade boys are heading to MBA for 7th grade this year, as they've continued to do every year since EHS opened. Oak Hill and Harding still send the majority of their boys to MBA.

I don't understand why people find it so hard to believe that there was actually enough demand for a new high school in Nashville that the opening of EHS has had a marginal impact on enrollment at MBA/Harpeth Hall/USN

By: caholt on 7/28/10 at 8:00

Sorry Guardian, but you are way off the mark here. This is what's called "Zero Tolerance" and if I'm not mistaken, this attitude has been foisted on the general populace by conservative factions who want to punish anyone who steps out of line and breaks the rules. Just think about that poor girl who was strip searched for giving someone a Motrin pill. Ah, ah, ah, that's against the drug law.
Problem was, she and her parents didn't have any money and I believe that she went to public school, so no biggy right?

Cyn in TN

By: VandyJD11 on 7/29/10 at 9:00

DavidSchwetty is exactly right. You can't buy tradition despite what Tommy Frist may have tried to do with Ensworth.

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/10/15/Frist-Funds-New-Private-School

Read this article if you want the real story on what kind of person Mr. Frist is and you'll see why the kids at his high school act no differently. Sounds like a bunch of spoiled brats who throw money at things every time they don't get their way.

By: sharko20 on 7/29/10 at 12:25

The Frist family built Ensworth so the kids from the Red Gables campus would have a HS to attend when their students weren't accepted to MBA, Harpeth Hall and St. Cecelia. They thought acceptance to these HS's should be automatic, but fortunately the heads of these schools thought it preferable to have a more diversified student body and not just kids from the boulevard.

By: budlight on 7/29/10 at 1:22

I think somone could have gotten seriously hurt, but arresting them was a little much. said by brooks53.

Well, I guess we should have made some bombs and put them in their bedrooms to see if they explode.

What they did is against the law. It''s bombmaking; regardless of their income, their age or their intent. FUN? Blowing up things is safe and fun.

BUTmoney talks so the guilty walk.

By: budlight on 7/29/10 at 1:25

Photodeluxe on 7/28/10 at 11:05
I think that mentioning the school in the headline is unfair. They were not on school property, school is not in session and the school had nothing to do with it. I agree that this is blown out of proportion, kids do stupid things. Rich white kids get away with stupid things, even murder. I question the motives behind this story.

I agree with you photo. BUT think about it this way: It's free publicity for a school that may (or may not) have enough big money! Hmmmmmm! Just a thought.

By: owen2321 on 7/29/10 at 3:06

Contrary to what has been stated above, these bombs can't actually kill anyone, if you can even call them bombs. It's pretty much the same has the diet coke and mentos. And also contrary to what the news reported, they either set-off within the minute or they don't set-off at all. These boys didn't mean any harm, and the chances of them causing any was very slim. And to any of the pro-mba/ anti-ensworth readers, the boys are being charged with a class-A misdemeanor, which is the lowest possible charge. If I recall correctly MBA has has their fair share of those over the years...

By: Nash19 on 7/29/10 at 4:53

This is racist....oh wait.

By: NashvilleTenn on 8/3/10 at 5:19

Can anyone say if any of these boys are football players? If so, they will, no doubt, be on the field this fall for Ricky Bowers. Ensworth is just a Brentwood Academy (sports-centric private school) with more money.

By: anonymous23 on 8/3/10 at 6:02

As previously stated,
Contrary to what has been stated above, these bombs can't actually kill anyone, if you can even call them bombs. It's pretty much the same has the diet coke and mentos. And also contrary to what the news reported, they either set-off within the minute or they don't set-off at all. These boys didn't mean any harm, and the chances of them causing any was very slim. And to any of the pro-mba/ anti-ensworth readers, the boys are being charged with a class-A misdemeanor, which is the lowest possible charge. If I recall correctly MBA has has their fair share of those over the years...

I completely agree with this..no one was hurt or could have been hurt. This is a silly prank that is done more often than most think and should not have been handled this way. Cut them a little slack, you know you did stuff like this too when you were young.

By: thomasrobert on 3/24/11 at 12:55

Thanks James nice post.
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