A lawyer for one of three teen-agers accused of vandalizing 175 cars during a nine-hour BB-gun shooting spree last month in Northwest Washington and Montgomery County is attempting to work out an agreement in which his client would repay victims for the damage.
Attorneys representing the other two youths are scheduled to meet with representatives of the victims next week to discuss a possible settlement.
The three juveniles--two 16-year-olds and one 15-year old--were arrested April 11 and charged with destruction of property and possession of prohibited weapons.
The youths, who live in that upper Northwest area and attend the same school, face a juvenile court trial later this summer, regardless of whether agreement is reached on the repayment plan.
Out-of-court settlements for payment of damages to victims are not unusual in juvenile offenses, according to an official familiar with such cases. However, that official said the large number of victims in this incident makes the case unusual. The source added that any settlement between the victims and the defendants would be totally separate from the coming trial.
Lawyer Robert C. Zimmer, whose car was damaged in the shooting spree, is representing approximately 25 victims who are interested in being compensated for damage to their property.
"I was sort of outraged . . . It was a willful and malicious act," said Zimmer of the Easter Monday shootings. "The victims should not have to absorb these losses," he said.
It has not been decided whether the parents of the juveniles will initially pay for the damages, said Zimmer, noting that D.C. law does not hold parents legally responsible for their childrens' actions.
Zimmer said that lawyers for all three youths told him they were interested in discussing a solution to the problem. Earlier this week, Zimmer met to begin negotiations with Michael Conroy, a Gaithersburg lawyer representing one of the juveniles.
"All of the people the defendants' families and attorneys simply want to do what is right and appropriate," Conroy said. He said that the details of the resolution and the amount of repayment have not yet been worked out. "It's going to depend on what kind of work the kids can do."
The other two youths' lawyers, James J. Bierbower, president of the D.C. Bar Association, and Robert Muse, would not comment on the case.