• Blow-up doll leads to teen’s arrest

    Date: 07.18.11 | by Judge Tom.

    A senior prank at Rushville Consolidated High School in Indiana backfired on 18-year-old Tyell Morton. On the last day of class in May, 2011, Tyell placed a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom stall.

    He was caught by security cameras wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves entering the school with a package. Five minutes later, Tyell was seen leaving the area without the package.

    The police were called and the school was locked down. A bomb squad and K-9 dogs searched the building before finding the doll. The school superintendent stated that “When you have an unknown intruder in the building, we come up with the same conclusion–we cannot be too cautious in this day and age.”

    Tyell Morton

    Tyell was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and criminal mischief, a felony. He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison.

    Some question the appropriateness of filing charges that can lead to a lifetime of consequences for what began as a prank. Take a look at Professor Jonathan Turley’s legal blog for a discussion of prosecutorial discretion and society’s interest in common sense and tolerance. Turley states, in part, as follows:

    “This is not the first prank charged criminally in our schools. When combined with our continued use of “zero tolerance policies, the trend threatens to transform our society. The question is what type of society we are creating when our children have to fear that a prank could lead them to jail for almost a decade. What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?”

    Update: In August of 2011, the prosecutor offered Tyell a deal to withhold prosecuting the case in exchange for 8 hours of community service and staying out of trouble for one year. Under this diversion agreement, Tyell’s record will remain clean.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    9 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Divorce Attorney Oklahoma City Matt Ingham
      Mon, 18 Jul 2011 at 08:28

      Well, first of all let me say that the ‘blow up sex doll’ prank is brilliant display of creativity on Tyell’s part. Unfortunately for him, his childish prank was misperceived and blown way out of proportion. Again, unfortunate for him, but on the other hand he assumed the risk.

    • Askthejudge.info
      Mon, 18 Jul 2011 at 11:12

      High school senior faces felony charge and up to 8 years in prison for a senior prank! http://fb.me/AKOg3am8

    • Askthejudge.info
      Tue, 19 Jul 2011 at 12:46

      New blog post: Blow-up doll leads to teen's arrest – A senior prank at Rushville Consolidated High School in Indiana… http://ow.ly/1dRRva

    • Beth W.
      Fri, 29 Jul 2011 at 05:07

      Tyell got what he deserved. That was a very stupid decision on his part.

    • Vicki
      Tue, 02 Aug 2011 at 06:55

      Tyell’s prank was funny, but he took the risk and now he has to pay the consequences. That’s life.

    • Beth S.
      Wed, 03 Aug 2011 at 01:27

      Don’t ruin the kid’s future because of one stupid, immature prank.

    • Pam
      Wed, 03 Aug 2011 at 06:09

      Tyell was reckless, he assumed the risk and now he’s suffering the consequences

    • Askthejudge.info
      Wed, 24 Aug 2011 at 12:17

      High schooler's blow-up doll prank results in 8 hours of community service and no record. http://t.co/EKOYplv

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Sat, 27 Aug 2011 at 06:42

      Sucks to be Tyell.

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