LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)—A teen charged in connection with an armed robbery took a plea deal Wednesday morning.
Police say 19-year-old Areschial Page is a member of the ‘Get Money boys;' the gang that they say targets drug dealers in their robberies.
Page faced charges of armed burglary with the use of force and burglary with a dangerous weapon. However in a plea deal e pleaded guilty to criminal trespassing as party to a crime and felony bail jumping. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery.
Page will serve 45 days on electronic monitoring and three years probation.
"Probation's appropriate because you're young and you need to learn things," said Judge Elliott Levine.
The charges stem from an armed robbery on October 5. Page's co-defendant, DeAaron Appleton was sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement. Page got a lesser sentence, in part because of problems with the evidence.
"The case against Mr. Page is built largely on the credibility of the disclosed confidential informant," Judge Levine said. "During the lead up to trial it was discovered that the interview was not properly stored in evidence and was subsequently inadvertently destroyed by the La Crosse Police Department."
"I do believe in a situation where one of the key components of the defendant's defense was not properly preserved, there has to be a response to that," said prosecutor Crystal Jensen.
Judge Levine also said he believes page was less involved and was just swept up in the actions of his friends.
"This is an opportunity for you to show you're much better than whatever this situation brought you in to," Levine said.
The defense contends regardless of issues with the evidence, the case against page was weak and that Page is not a member of the ‘get money boy gang.'
"He knew individuals who were involved in this outfit," said the defense attorney, Christopher Dyer. "We will agree he was with them on the night, until at least midnight when the pulled off this home invasion, but he was not a member of the get money boys."
If Page successfully completes probation and stays out of trouble for the next five years, his attorney can file a motion to have his record expunged.
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