Pennsylvania teen pleads no contest in rock-throwing case

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2015 4:22 PM

By David DeKok

LEWISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - The last of four Pennsylvania teenagers accused in a highway rock-throwing spree that critically injured an Ohio teacher pleaded no contest on Tuesday, and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Tyler Porter, 18, of Milton, entered a plea of no contest to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. A sentencing date by Judge Michael Sholley in Union County Court of Common Pleas has not yet been scheduled.

Under an array of sentencing guidelines, Porter could get a prison sentence ranging from 22 months to 20 years, prosecutors said.

Ohio school teacher Sharon Budd, 53, was struck in the head by a rock on July 11, 2014, as she and her family were traveling on Interstate 80, authorities said. She lost the use of one eye and is still undergoing surgeries in her recovery.

The family had been driving to New York City to see a Broadway play.

Budd was not in the Lewisburg courtroom on Tuesday.

District Attorney Peter Johnson said Porter and three friends - Dylan Lahr, 18; his brother Brett Lahr, 19; and Keefer McGee, 18 - went to a highway overpass some 70 feet above Interstate 80 to throw rocks at cars.

Dylan Lahr, who is believed to have been the ringleader, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He is expected to be sentenced to 4-1/2 to 20 years in prison.

Brett Lahr faces 18 months to 10 years in prison, while McGee, who cooperated with authorities, is expected to face nine to 23 months in county jail.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Mohammad Zargham)