Pinellas school bus beating suspects plead guilty - WFLA News Channel 8

Pinellas school bus beating suspects plead guilty

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Three boys, all 15, who beat up a 13-year-old student on a Pinellas school bus in a gang attack July 9 were sentenced to indefinite probation.

Joshua Reddin, Julian McKnight, and Lloyd Khemradj pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated battery before a judge on Thursday.  Reddin also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of armed robbery. 

One of the teens apologized in court.  The other two wrote letters.

The Department of Juvenile Justice recommended indefinite juvenile probation for all three, in addition to curfews and other sanctions.

Gulfport Police say the July attack was triggered by the victim snitching to school administrators, after he refused to buy drugs from one of the boys at Lealman Intermediate School earlier that day.

Related story: 07/11/2013 3 teens charged in Pinellas school bus beating

The driver called for help but did not physically intervene.  The victim ended up with a broken arm. A video of the attack sparked national outrage after going viral on the Internet.

Related story: 07/29/2013 Video shows vicious Pinellas school bus attack

Gulfport police wanted prosecutors to charge the driver with child abuse for failing to intervene and provide immediate aid after the attack.  Prosecutors said there was no basis for that charge.

The victim's grandmother and guardian said he has been through a lot. She is angry at the Pinellas school system for putting him on the same bus with the attackers the same day the boy reported one of them for trying to sell him drugs. She faults educators for setting the stage for the attack.

The guardian says the boy has been subjected to chronic bullying at school, but was still horrified at the level of violence caught on the school bus camera that day.

"Just makes me sick," said the guardian. "I don't know how you can do that to another person."

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