Teen freed in gang case after NY church posts bail

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 9:16 PM
Teen freed in gang case after NY church posts bail

A former boarding school student charged with toting guns for a drug gang has been freed from a New York City jail after a prominent church posted her bail and Rep. Charles Rangel went to court to support her.

Seventeen-year-old Afrika Owes left a courthouse Tuesday after two months behind bars. Members of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church had voted to put up her $25,000 cash bail.

Owes was a star student who earned a scholarship to the elite Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass.

Prosecutors say she became enmeshed in a violent crack cocaine ring that controlled an area near the church, which has counted late civil rights leader Adam Clayton Powell Jr. among its pastors and President John F. Kennedy among its visitors.

Owes has pleaded not guilty. Rangel says even smart kids "make poor judgments."