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Published: Thursday, 10/12/2006

Teen pleads no contest in theft of deer decoy


KENTON, Ohio - A teen accused of helping steal a deer decoy that was put on a country road as a prank, causing a crash that seriously injured two people, changed his plea to no contest in a deal with prosecutors.

Taylor Rogers, 17, also agreed on Tuesday to testify against a friend who was one of four others charged. He pleaded no contest in Hardin County Common Pleas Court to two counts of vehicular vandalism and charges of possession of criminal tools and petty theft.

Dailyn Campbell, 16, Joshua Lowe, 18, and Jesse Howard, 17, pleaded no contest to the same charges and were sentenced to 60 days in juvenile detention.

Visiting Judge Gary McKinley's decision to suspend young Campbell and young Howard's sentences until after Kenton High School's football season upset the victims' families and others in the northwest Ohio community.

Prosecutor Brad Bailey said young Rogers was part of the group of teens who stole the decoy from a man's home last November and constructed a platform for it, but left before the decoy was put in the road because he was ill.

The crash injured Robert Roby, Jr., 19, who suffered several broken bones, and his passenger, Dustin Zachariah, 18, who has brain damage, authorities said.

Young Rogers is listed as an offensive lineman on the football team's roster but has not played because the judge has refused requests to relax the curfew. He will be sentenced Nov. 15.

Corey Manns, 16, who has pleaded not guilty, is scheduled for trial Nov. 6.

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