Three men in New York accepted plea deals as part of an ongoing case detailing their involvement in a plot to attack an Islamic community center. The three men, aged 19-20, were represented by criminal defense attorneys during trial proceedings, which saw additional charges dropped as part of the plea deals offered to them. They will face prison sentences between four and 12 years, as reported by the New York District Attorney's office in Monroe County.
According to the case, the three men along with a minor whose charges are still pending were arrested back in January. A student at a local high school in Greece, New York reported overhearing them talking about making bombs to assault a Muslim community called Islamberg in Delaware County. The community is home to some several hundred Muslim-Americans.
Originally, all four individuals were each charged with three felony counts of criminal possession, as well as a felony count for conspiracy. The plea deal that was worked out for them saw one man plead guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree as a crime of terrorism. The other two men pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy in the second degree as a crime of terrorism.
Sometimes the best possible outcome of a criminal defense scenario is negotiating for lesser charges and/or a more lenient sentence. In the case of these three New York men, their criminal defense attorneys were successful in such negotiations, as their criminal sentences for the charges filed against them initially could have been considerably more severe. It is the job of a good defense attorney to do what is best for the client, even when that means mitigating punishment rather than avoiding it altogether.