The teenager who helped her boyfriend run guns and drugs while she attended a prep school in Connecticut plans to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiracy and weapons possession on July 7.
Africa Owes, a 17-year-old student at the elite prep school Deerfield Academy, was a member of the 137th Street Crew, a gang in her hometown of Harlem, New York. The block in which the gang sold illegal substances was located near Abyssinian Baptist Church, where Owes had been a life-long member.
Though she was pushing drugs and weapons around the church when she got in trouble, Owes still received the financial and spiritual support of the institution. After serving two months in prison, the church bailed her out for $25,000. They say that she was a promising student whom the members of the congregation felt an obligation to help.
The plea deal, which will be presented to the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday, has not been finalized, but Elsie Chandler, Owes’ lawyer, hopes that her client will be released by the middle of September so that she can return for her senior year of high school.
Because Owes is a minor, if she stays out of trouble when released, the judge could adjudicate her, subsequently erasing her conviction and sealing the record.
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(Photo: Joe Gill/Landov)