Teens face felony charges following tribute to friend - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Teens face felony charges following tribute to friend

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 A tribute honoring a Chesterfield teen who committed suicide has turned into a much bigger controversy, and now parents are even taking a stance for their kids.  

Two teens have already been charged with felony destruction of property after they spray painted pictures and quotes in a tunnel honoring their friend in the Hampton Park neighborhood. 17-year-old Cal Reilly committed suicide there earlier this month. Now more teens could be charged. 

Reilly's friends are all hoping the judge will reduce their charges in court. At least three teens have summons – and two are facing felony vandalism charges. 

18-year-old Chris Justice says police took him away in handcuffs in the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Chesterfield Friday. He says another friend also faces charges in connection to the vandalism, and there could be more. 

This comes after dozens of Cal Reilly's friends got a visit from police after they had decorated the tunnel with pictures, paintings and poems--all paying tribute to Reilly.  

"It's a shocking situation," said Justice. "We didn't wake up and say hey let's go destroy public property. We did it for our friend who passed away. My friend committed suicide so I think I deserve to at least put something on the wall there." 

Kimberly Vallejo's son Devon was one of the teens who painted artwork on these walls. She says police visited her home and questioned her son while he was home alone. Now, she's afraid a simple act of reverence could leave her son and his friends with a marred record for a very long time. 

"I feel like Hampton Park is missing the opportunity to help these kids turn it into something positive," said Vallejo. "Instead, they are moving forward with charges that completely have a horrifying and long lasting effect on some if these kids' lives." 

We should find out whether charges will be dismissed or reduced when justice and his friend appear in court Tuesday. Earlier calls and e-mails to the Hampton Park HOA have not been returned.     

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