A teen involved in the brutal beating of a Texas high school football player faced up to 20 years in prison. The victim's family showed 'mercy' and he'll serve 120 days.
In a plea deal, Texas teenager Reid Mitchell pleaded guilty to assaulting teammate Cole Hagan, The Facts reported.
Mitchell will spend 120 days in jail and the next 10 years on probation.
The Hagans are "very pleased" and feel the justice system worked, their attorney told Insider.
Reid Mitchell, who state prosecutors accused of brutally assaulting his teammate, Cole Hagan, in 2021, has reached a plea deal. He will serve 120 days in jail and then a 10-year probation.
Mitchell, 19, pleaded guilty on Friday. His family – including his parents, sister, and two sets of grandparents – joined him in the courtroom in Angleton, Texas, according to the Brazoria County newspaper The Facts, which first reported the plea agreement.
Mitchell left the courtroom in handcuffs on his way to Brazoria County jail for his 120-day sentence, according to The Facts. The conviction on his record will be expunged if he spends his 10-year probation free of other violations, the outlet reported.
Hagan's attorney, Loren Klitsas, told Insider that the family was "pleased" with the plea agreement.
"The family is very, very pleased with the Reid Mitchell sentence," Klitsas told Insider. "They feel like the judicial system worked."
A Brazoria County grand jury indicted Mitchell for second-degree felony aggravated assault in March 2022 following the attack on Hagan at a pool party on the night of Dec. 3, 2021. Teens Logan Huber and Ayden Holland told police they lured Hagan outside, where Mitchell beat him, leaving him hospitalized and on a ventilator with a skull fracture, brain bleeds, and a broken collarbone.
The Texas court also indicted Huber and Holland for felony aggravated assault. Their trials are scheduled for May 15, according to court records.
Cole Hagan opted to 'show mercy' to Reid Mitchell, Hagan's attorney said.
In the courtroom on Friday, the prosecution submitted a written statement from Hagan requesting the judge and district attorney's office accept the plea, The Facts reported. Hagan "spoke softly but firmly" when called as a witness to accept the terms of the plea agreement, according to the outlet.
Mitchell made no statement at the hearing besides affirming Judge Patrick Bulanek's questions that he understood the terms of the agreement, one of them being that Mitchell cannot contact Hagan, The Facts reported.
Hagan, accompanied by his father Mark, exited the courtroom shortly after the agreement was reached, according to The Facts. Speaking directly to Mitchell, Judge Bulanek said the "only person you should really thank is the guy that just walked out of this courtroom," according to The Facts.
"You can't contact him, but you should've thanked him. He's probably the only reason I'm accepting this plea. Otherwise, I would have let a jury of your peers do the deciding for me. Really, the people who are showing you mercy are probably the people who shouldn't," Bulanek told the teenager, The Facts reported.
Klitsas told Insider that in conversations with the district attorney, Hagan and his family opted to "show mercy" to Mitchell given his age and lack of a previous record.
"Cole and the family decided to show mercy toward him and give him an opportunity. He's got 10 years now to reclaim his life and change the path that he was on," Klitsas told Insider. "And if he doesn't, the judge made it clear that he is going to throw the book at him, that there's not going to be any second chances. So the Hagens were all for that."
Beyond jail time, a multi-million dollar civil suit looms.
Mitchell's defense attorney, Paul Nugent, told The Facts that it was a "fair and just resolution." Nugent did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on Sunday.
District Attorney Tom Selleck told the outlet that "they're just kids," adding that Mitchell taking accountability for his actions against Hagan was a pivotal part of the agreement, The Facts reported.
"Sometimes kids do things that have tragic consequences and that's what happened in this case," Selleck said, per The Facts. "Maybe it will give someone else pause to at least take a moment and think about the potential of what they're doing and the effect it will have. There are no real winners here, but everyone will be able to move on with their life and pick up the pieces and move forward."
Klitsas is representing that family in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against several of Hagan's peers – who were accused of having knowledge of the attack before it took place – and their parents, Insider previously reported. Thus far, Klitsas said, three families have settled.
"We're hopeful that all the parties will step forward and resolve their differences with us over what happened," Klitsas told Insider. "The Hagan family is pleased that they were able to resolve these differences and that it will help Cole with college and in the future and reclaim his life and move forward."
A high school senior, Hagan is preparing to enroll at Texas State University, Klitsas said.
"He's made a miraculous recovery, and he's doing well," Klitsas told Insider. "And to be honest with you, for an 18-year-old boy, it was his decision to show mercy, and that's what he wanted to do."
Read the original article on Insider