August 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Lawyers working on plea for teens accused of graffiti on Detroit buildings

Mackenzie Lynn Snitgen, from left, Elizabeth Mary Harder, and Isabella Mary Meteer are arraigned in Third Circuit Çourt at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Monday. (John M. Galloway / Special to The Detroit News)

Detroit — Attorneys for three Grosse Pointe Woods teens accused of spray-painting their names and obscenities on downtown buildings said Monday they are working on a plea deal with prosecutors.

The three girls, Isabella Mary Meteer, 18, Mackenzie Lynn Snitgen and Mary Elizabeth Harder, both 17, were arraigned Monday morning in Wayne Circuit Court. The trio is accused of defacing two buildings in the 40 block of Michigan Avenue and the 1100 block of Griswold in Detroit on June 22, according to prosecutors.

Each has been charged with one count of malicious destruction of a building $1,000 to $20,000, a felony that carries a five-year maximum penalty and given a $5,000 personal bond.

During the hearing Monday morning that lasted about a minute, Circuit Judge Deborah A. Thomas set an Aug. 21 docket conference, after attorneys waived a formal reading of the charges, and Snitgen’s lawyer, Samuel Churikian, told the judge “we are engaged in meaningful negotiations with the prosecutor in an attempt to resolve this matter.”

After the hearing, Churikian, Eric Goze, attorney for Harder, and David Draper, Meeter’s lawyer, all acknowledged they are working on a plea deal.

“We’re trying to see if there’s something we can do to negotiate with prosecutors,” Goze said. “In any criminal case, you don’t know what will happen, so we have to prepare for trial in case things go south.”

Added Draper: “It looks like we’ll be able to work something out amicably.”

Dan Gilbert, who owns 1001 Woodward, which shares an alley with one of the defaced buildings, sent out an email asking for help in finding the teens, whom he referred to as “degenerates” and “clowns.”

Within hours of his appeal, investigators found video surveillance footage of the perpetrators allegedly tagging the building.

“It’s small, grainy video with no sound,” Goze said. “It shows some people doing something.”

He added: “We’re hoping to work out something so we can restore these girls’ reputations.”
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