The mother of Brendan Depa, the Florida teenager with autism who punched his teacher unconscious in February. viral video She says her son’s prison sentence will be a “death penalty” for the case that has shocked the country.
Leanne Depa is pleading for leniency for her son, who is now 18 years old. His son faces up to 30 years in prison for the crime. malicious attack Regarding the serious injury of Matanzas High School paraprofessional Joanne Neidich.
In her first public appearance since her son assaulted Neidich, Leanne implored the victim to give the 6ft 6in boy a lighter sentence.
Leanne said Wednesday through tears. exterior At NewsNation.
“But at the same time, please consider that my son has had a difficult life and has experienced a lot of trauma in his life. He has autism. Please give him mercy. ”
She said the entire ordeal had been “devastating” and “heartbreaking” and said she felt “horrible for my child”.
However, Neiditch Before expressed She said she had “no interest” in helping the perpetrator get a reduced sentence.
Last month, Brendan pleaded guilty to the assault, which left Neidich with five broken ribs, severe concussion, hearing loss and ongoing cognitive impairment.Previously as Breitbart News reportthe educator is now living off donations after being forced to take unpaid leave by the Flagler County School District.
“Everyone who knows me or has known me, [before the attack] I know I’m a completely different person now,” says Neiditch. Said Fox 35 last month. “My life just turned upside down.”
The brutal assault was captured on the school’s surveillance camera and attracted widespread attention online, prompting calls for Depa to be jailed.
In Flagler County, Florida, a 17-year-old Matanzas High School student is suspected of ambushing and assaulting a teacher’s assistant, knocking him unconscious, police said. pic.twitter.com/sNuaxx1q88
— Inside Edition (@InsideEdition) February 27, 2023
“If he gets a prison sentence, I feel like it’s a death sentence. He’s scared. And to have your child call you and cry and say, ‘I don’t want to die,’ is terrible. ,” Leanne Depa told NewsNation.
His mother says a long list of mental disorders and childhood trauma explain her son’s violent behavior.
Brendan, who has severe autism, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and reactive explosive disorder, was placed in a public high school by an intensive behavioral group home despite his mental deficiencies. he said.
“He never fit in the school environment, so I always homeschooled him. I asked the group home, ‘Did he have to go to public school?’ Ta. Can I attend school online? ‘And I was assured by them that all of their clients attend public schools…I had no idea he belonged in a public school. I had no choice. ”
She also pointed out that her son shouldn’t have had his Nintendo Switch during school hours and that a crisis team is usually called in before experts pick up the game.
Neidich said she wasn’t even the teacher who seized the device.
Brendan, who was 17 at the time, was initially charged as a juvenile, but was tried as an adult after the initial charges were upgraded.
“The troubled boy had three previous arrests for assault prior to the assault on Neidich, and was reportedly involved in a prison fight in September.” . new york post report.
He is currently being held on $1 million bail, with a sentencing hearing scheduled for January.