HILLSBOROUGH -- Dearie William Bourne, 17, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court for his role in an armed robbery in August.
Bourne, who was charged as an adult, waived his right to a jury trial pleaded guilty to a Class D felony and was sentenced to a minimum of 51 months -- maximum 74 months -- in prison, and possible supervised release at 38 months as part of a plea agreement. The maximum punishment he faced was 204 months.
“I’m sorry for my actions,” Bourne said in court. “It’s not how I would normally act.”
District Attorney James Woodall recommended the court accept Bourne’s plea.
“He’s pleading to the most serious charge and is going to prison,” Woodall said. “The state is willing to consent to advanced supervised release given the defendant’s age.”
In presenting a summary of the evidence, Woodall said at about 7 p.m. Aug. 5, a male victim called the Chapel Hill Police Department to report he was robbed near Trinity Court in Chapel Hill.
“Officers arrived and the victim stated that two black males armed with a chrome revolver beat him up and robbed him,” Woodall said.
The second suspect was on Monday’s court docket but did not enter a plea.
Woodall said officers found two suspects behind a nearby apartment complex.
The victim told police the other suspect went through his pockets and Bourne beat him on the face. Police photographed cuts to his face and neck.
The victim reported $15 in cash, 10 prescription pills and a pack of cigarettes were taken.
“The officers searched the area from where the defendants had come from and found a chrome revolver in an abandoned water fountain lying in a wooded area behind Pritchard Avenue Apartments that matched the description of the firearm that was used in the robbery,” Woodall said.
Judge Allen Baddour expressed concern Monday about the possibility of kids finding the gun.
The judge told Bourne though the crime was his first as an adult, it’s a “big one.”
“It hurts because it’s serious,” Baddour said. “You may not have had much intent to do anybody any harm or shoot anybody or whatever else, but they didn’t know that.”
He encouraged Bourne to focus on what life will be like once he gets out of prison.
“Because you’re going in and nobody can change that or stop that at this point, but you can change how life’s going to be when you get out,” Baddour said.
Bourne’s attorney Julian Mack said described Bourne as an “enigma,” who is bright and and can do anything in school when he applies himself, but had some issues Mack said he believes the teen can overcome.
“He’s got a chance,” Mack said. “ I can’t say that about everybody.”