On Tuesday, July 15, three Grosse Pointe Woods teens were charged by prosecutor Kym Worthy with malicious destruction of a building causing between $1,000 and $20,000 in damage, according to a news article at Mlive.com. The offense is a felony that could leave the three girls, described as “fancy young ladies” in an email to employees by Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert, facing up to five years in prison.
The three girls suspected of spray painting buildings in Detroit include Mary Elizabeth Harder, 17, Mackenzie Lynn Snitgen, 17, and Esabella Mary Meteer, 18. The teens allegedly spray painted buildings late in the evening hours on June 22. Dan Gilbert offered a reward to tipsters who could provide more information on the girls, offering to pay for a paint job for the home or apartment of anyone who provided tips about the teen girls, who were captured on his extensive surveillance system. Gilbert sent the images of the girls to his staff, asking employees to share the pictures on social media networks.
Authorities say that the crude graffiti spray painted on buildings in the 1100 block of Griswold and the 40 block of Michigan include the statements “Welcome to Detroit” and another that includes vulgar language.
The teenage girls were arraigned on the charges on Tuesday; each was released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. No information was released regarding the next court date.
Malicious destruction of a building or other property is a very serious matter. Individuals who are found guilty not only face prison time, but substantial fines and even restitution in some cases where the victim’s property is damaged or destroyed. In this case, the teen girls were charged with malicious destruction of a building causing between $1,000 and $20,000 in damage. This means that in addition to prison time, each could face a fine of up to $10,000, three times the value of the destruction, whichever is greater, or both.
Teenagers usually do not realize the serious repercussions they may face for doing something that in their minds doesn’t seem like a “big deal.” Anyone who is charged with a serious crime, regardless of age, should consult with an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to achieving the best possible results for the client.