May 10, 2013

Man pleads to lesser charge, not threatening kids at Reiche

By Scott Dolan
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – A Portland man who was once charged with threatening children at the Reiche Community School pleaded guilty Friday to disorderly conduct as part of an agreement under which more serious charges will be dropped at his sentencing.

Derek Weeks, 33, had also faced charges of criminal threatening and interfering with constitutional and civil rights in connection with a Feb. 13 incident outside the school at 166 Brackett St. while he was picking up his daughter.

Weeks was accused of making a gun gesture with his hand, and telling children on the playground that they shouldn’t be playing there because they are black.

Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson said that as part of the plea agreement, sentencing was postponed until July 8 to allow Weeks’ daughter to finish the school year and for him to enroll her in another school for next year. Anderson, who prosecuted the case personally, said the plan is for the two more-serious charged to be dropped at sentencing.

Anderson said that part of the reason for the plea agreement was that she did not want to make the children testify at a trial and neither did Weeks. She said Weeks wrote her a letter that she read to the children and their families, taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing for making the children anxious.

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