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Boy Who Pushed Shopping Cart onto Marion Hedges Sentenced

By DNAinfo Staff on February 28, 2012 8:10pm

Marion Hedges was hit by a shopping cart at the East River Plaza mall on Feb. 28, 2012.
Marion Hedges was hit by a shopping cart at the East River Plaza mall on Feb. 28, 2012.
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Prudential Douglas Elliman

MANHATTAN FAMILY COURT — A boy who admitted tossing a shopping cart onto real estate broker and philanthropist Marion Hedges at an East Harlem mall was sentenced to spend up to 18 months in a group home in Westchester County.

The 13-year-old, whose name is being withheld by DNAinfo, pleaded guilty to the juvenile equivalent of assault and admitted to throwing a Target shopping cart off of the fourth level of the parking garage at the East River Plaza on Oct. 30.

The cart hit the 47-year-old Hedges, who was shopping for Halloween candy for poor children along with her 14-year-old son Dayton, in the head, sending her into a coma. She spent weeks at Harlem Hospital.

The boy sentenced Tuesday, one of two charged in the incident, will be sent to a treatment program called Graham Windham in Hastings-on-the-Hudson where he must remain for at least six months while he completes a treatment and education program.

Manhattan Family Court Judge Susan Larabee said she believes the structured setting should help straighten out his behavioral problems, which have been documented in a history of school suspensions and misbehavior since his arrest last year. 

"Your behavior from time to time is completely out of control, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way forever and ever," Larabee told the boy, whose tearful mother sat beside him throughout the hearing.

The judge said she hopes to see the boy improve his behavior while in the program so that he can be re-integrated into the community and potentially his own neighborhood school once he returns to his mother's care.

"I want you to settle down in school so when you do go home it will be a smooth transition. You can go on to high school and not have to come back to see me," she added. 

He must serve a minimum of six months but was also given a credit of two months for the time he's spent in a minimum-security detention center since his arrest.

The boy's attorney, Shahabuddeen Ally, said he believes his young client understands what he must do to once he's admitted to the program.

"He's a good kid. He gets the program," Ally said. "He responds well to these structured programs."

Hedges' husband recently filed a lawsuit against the mall for allegedly not providing adequate security.

The second boy is due to appear in court later this week.