John Austin Cartwright, 18, pleaded guilty in Fort Worth today for his involvement in a June graffiti spree in Arlington that included anti-gay slurs spray-painted on a lesbian couple’s SUV.
He accepted the same plea deal as others in the case, including three years deferred adjudication and 120 hours of community service at AIDS Outreach Center or Samaritan House in Fort Worth. He must pay his share of the $6,441 in damages as well.
In addition, the judge ordered Cartwright, who is in high school, to write a 500-word essay on what he’ll do to pay his debt to society and what he’s learned to make the world a better place.
“This guy seems genuinely remorseful,” said Fairness Fort Worth’s David Mack Henderson, who was in the courtroom. “If any of the five appear to have a chance to learn a lesson and turn himself around, this young man has it.”
Henderson said Cartwright was scheduled to earn his Eagle Scout award, but likely won’t receive it.
Daniel Sibley,19, the fifth and final teen involved in the case, was in court but didn’t enter a plea. Sibley has a prior record. His attorney and the DA are still in negotiation on his case.