MANHATTAN FAMILY COURT — An East Harlem boy who admitted tossing the shopping cart that knocked Upper West Side mom Marion Hedges into a coma last year may be home within a year, after completing a foster-care program.
Manhattan Family Court Judge Susan Larabee called the 13-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo, a "juvenile delinquent" on Thursday. She said he'd be formally sentenced for throwing the cart that severely injured Hedges at his next court date on Feb. 3.
He is likely to be sentenced to a "treatment foster home" with a single mother in Brooklyn through the Cayuga Home program, his attorney said. He'd attend school there and get treatment for a period of time.
"I think it's clear that [the boy] is in need of treatment," Larabee said, in reference to what the foster program would offer.
The judge has the option of putting him in a juvenile detention center or an alternate placement, like a foster home, for 18 months. But the teen's attorney is hoping he'll be home with his mother in East Harlem in less than a year.
"Our goal is to make it six, nine, 10 months, and then have him sent home," said attorney Shahabuddeen Ally.
Ally noted that the teen has "100-percent intent to comply" with the terms set forth by the court and the program.
The home the young man is likely to be admitted to will have a no-tolerance policy, the attorney added. If he fails to comply with orders, he can expect to be tossed into a state-run juvenile facility.
The boy's mother, Rosemary Rosario, said she has voluntarily enrolled in parenting classes to create a better home life for her son.
"He's going to be a good man," she said. "I'm going to make sure of that."
Hedges, a 47-year-old real estate broker, was treated at Harlem Hospital for weeks after the horrific Oct. 30 incident at the East River Plaza mall, where she'd been shopping with her son for Halloween candy to donate to charity. The teen and his 12-year-old friend threw the cart from a fourth-floor parking garage.
Despite a report in the New York Post saying Hedges sympathized with the boys — both of whom pleaded guilty to causing her severe injuries — prosecutors said Thursday that Hedges and her family do not wish to make pre-sentencing victim impact statements that possibly could have helped their cases.
"Not only does the family still indicate they do not wish to provide victim impact statements but … they indicated they would not speak to the press and did not make any comments like that," city attorney Leah Schmelzer said Thursday.
A separate hearing was held Thursday for the 12-year-old boy who also admitted to tossing the cart.
At that proceeding, a probation officer who assessed the boy and his family defended recommending probation as a sentence for the child, after looking at the "totality of the child's life and family."
The officer, Genee Bogans, also said the boy was "extremely remorseful" when interviewed about the incident that put Hedges into a coma.
"Was it your sense that he was being candid with you, or was he trying to get one over on you?" asked the boy's attorney, William Nicholas.
"He was being candid with me, I believe," replied Bogans, who said she referred the boy's mother for parenting support but believes his family is capable of caring for the boy if he's released.
Both boys have been incarcerated in Administration for Children's Services minimum-security facilities since their arrest the day after the incident.